Late sea­son for syrup pro­duc­ers

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

A pro­longed win­ter means a late start to the maple syrup seaon this year.

While we have been sub­jected to many cold nights, the re­gion has to be blessed with enough warm days to get the sap run­ning.

Of­ten re­ferred to as the first agri­cul­tural crop of the year, maple syrup is made from the sap of pri­mar­ily sugar, red and black maple trees in late win­ter and early spring. The ba­sic process of tap­ping maple trees to col­lect the sap and then boiling it down to make maple syrup and sugar has en­dured for cen­turies. There have been tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments in the pro­duc­tion process over the years but the unique whole­some flavour of pure maple syrup has not changed.

In On­tario, maple syrup is pro­duced com­mer­cially wher­ever maples are found: from the south­ern tip of the province to Thun­der Bay in the north­west. With a pro­duc­tion level of close to a mil­lion litres per year, On­tario is the sec­ond largest pro­ducer of maple syrup in the coun­try next to Québec.

It takes ap­prox­i­mately 40 litres of maple sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup. The maple sap is col­lected in ei­ther buck­ets or by way of a pipeline that brings sap from the tree to the pro­cess­ing area. The sap, which comes out of the tree with a sugar con­tent of ap­prox­i­mately 2%, is boiled un­til it reaches be­tween 66% and 67.5% sugar con­tent. So you can see that a lot of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion goes into each litre of maple syrup pro­duced!

Maple syrup is a com­pletely nat­u­ral prod­uct with no ad­di­tives. It is chock full of min­er­als and plant pro­teins. Re­search is cur­rently un­der­way to de­ter­mine how this nat­u­ral sweet­ener and flavour en­hanc­ing prod­uct can ben­e­fit hu­man health.

Many maple syrup pro­duc­ers process the syrup into other prod­ucts such as maple candies, maple but­ter and maple sugar.

Maple Taffy On Snow

This is the icon of the Cana­dian su­gar­bush and no trip to a sugar shack is com­plete with­out sam­pling this sticky gooey treat. Hot high den­sity maple syrup is poured di­rectly on frozen snow cre­at­ing a soft taffy tex­ture. Taffy does not keep well over time so it's typ­i­cally only avail­able at the su­gar­bush dur­ing the maple sea­son or it can some­times be found for sale at larger fes­ti­vals or fairs. Our sug­ges­tion is to sim­ply eat it as you find it be­cause once it's gone - there won't be any more un­til next year.

Maple But­ter

If you have yet to try out some of the other maple prod­ucts of­fered at your favourite On­tario maple pro­ducer this one is the sec­ond best choice only to maple taffy on snow. The con­sis­tency of maple but­ter or maple cream (the same prod­uct) is light and spread­able, very sim­i­lar to the con­sis­tency of a light peanut but­ter. Its name comes from the fact that it has a "but­tery" or "creamy" tex­ture and not be­cause it has any dairy prod­ucts added to it. In fact, it has noth­ing at all added ex­cept 100% pure maple syrup. It is per­fect as a spread on bread, pan­cakes, muffins, toast, and bis­cuits or as a dessert frost­ing. Take a small con­tainer to work with you one day and it's guar­an­teed not to last the morn­ing.

Soft Sugar Candy

Real, pure maple candy is a real treat with a light outer shell and a creamy tex­ture in­side. It is typ­i­cally made by boiling down maple syrup, stir­ring it, and pour­ing it into molds to har­den. Maple candy comes in all shapes and sizes but you will most of­ten find it formed into the shape of a maple leaf. This de­li­cious maple prod­uct melts in your mouth and re­leases a rich maple fla­vor al­most like fudge. Ev­ery year at fes­ti­vals and sugar shacks across On­tario, maple candy is a sta­ple treat.

Hard Sugar Candy

Many en­joy the melt-in-your­mouth type treats but oth­ers may pre­fer an all-nat­u­ral candy that does not dis­solve quickly. That's what these hard maple candies are de­signed to do - last a long time! Made en­tirely with pure On­tario maple syrup and usu­ally in­di­vid­u­ally pack­aged in the shape of small maple leaves, these candies are an ideal treat for pock­ets and purses. Take them on road trips, to the of­fice, shop­ping, wher­ever you need a lit­tle sweet pick-meup on the go. They are es­pe­cially handy for grand­chil­dren just about to head home from their week­end visit.



Gran­u­lated maple sugar is the most ver­sa­tile prod­uct that is made from maple syrup. Be­cause it has no avail­able wa­ter, this prod­uct is to­tally shelf sta­ble, it will not sep­a­rate or mold. It can be stored in­def­i­nitely at room tem­per­a­ture and with proper pack­ag­ing and mois­ture con­trol will not lose its gran­u­lar na­ture. It can be used in recipes as a re­place­ment for brown or white sugar on a one for one ex­change by vol­ume or by weight and is the health­i­est of all avail­able sugar types. It can also be used as a top­ping on ce­real, placed in sugar straws or used any­where other sugar would be used to add flavour or sweet­ness. The fla­vor of many prod­ucts is en­hanced by us­ing maple sugar in place of white sugar and is es­pe­cially val­ued by many con­sumers for its nat­u­ral and sus­tain­able ori­gin.

We have yet to get that com­bi­na­tion of cool nights and warm day to get the sap run­ning

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