Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Maple syrup FAQs

It seems like just about every sub-topic related to living here by the Bay of Fundy has its own set of frequently asked questions and maple syrup making is no exception. Here are a few that I've heard at our maple farm along with my answers:

1. How many litres of sap from the maple tree does it take to make one litre of syrup? By the time the sap is boiled down to syrup, 40 litres of sap has become one litre of syrup.

2. Can you make maple syrup out of all maple trees or just sugar maples? Techically, you can make syrup out of sap from other maples but Sugar Maple sap has a higher natural concentration of sugar so it is greatly preferred. (The other maple saps would take much more boiling to get them to the sweetness of sugar maple syrup).

3. What sort of spring weather favours sap production in the trees? Sap 'prefers' cool nights and warm days. My uncle cheers at daytime temps of plus 5 to plus 8 degrees Celius and a good overnight frost or temperature around minus 5.

4. I've heard that maple sugar is actually good for you, is that true? Everything I've heard and read about this indicates that yes, maple syrup is actually good for you. It is know to contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus and iron as well as the B complex vitamins. It also has antioxident properties that have been compared with well-known antioxidents broccoli and green tea.

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