Great on Pancakes, but Do You Know How Maple Syrup is Made?
Preparation for sugaring season begins in the fall, making sure there is plenty of wood stacked and seasoned near the evaporating area, marking trees, and getting storage containers in place. Sap begins to flow in late March here in Michigan, when daytime temperatures are above freezing, and nighttime temperatures are below freezing. The fluctuation causes the sap to flow up and down the tree.
Sap will spoil, so it has to stay cold. If we have a good, snowy winter, we can use the snow to build an igloo around the storage containers. Sugaring is a full-time job at the peak of the season, sometimes producing several gallons of sap a day per tree, and evaporating the water out of the sap means keeping the fire going as long as daylight allows.
Sap becomes syrup at 219 degrees (217 at our specific elevation and location). It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. Every location has its own unique flavor of syrup. Ours tastes like toasted marshmallows.
(Editor's note: We love maple syrup on our pancakes and waffles, but have you ever wondered how it was made? Click through Craig Watson's photo gallery to see.)
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