Maple Syrup Process
Sugar made by the leaves during summer is stored as starch in the root tissues. As winter loosens its grip in February, the sugarmaker taps the trees. The normal maple syrup season in Vermont lasts 4 to 6 weeks, sap flow is heaviest for 10 to 20 days, sometimes starting as early as February in southern Vermont and lasting into late April in northern Vermont.
A pattern of freezing and thawing temperatures (below freezing at night and 4 – 7°C during the day) will build up pressure within the trees causing the sap to flow from the tapholes. The sap is then transferred to the Sugar House where it is evaporated to produce sweet delicious Maple Syrup, Cream or Sugar.
The darker the Maple Syrup the stronger the flavour.
Maple Syrup Grades
Amber (Rich) – Usually made about mid-season and seems to be the most popular for all around use. A good choice for gifts.
Dark (Robust) – As the maple season progresses, the syrup darkens in color and develops a more robust maple flavor. Good for all around use, its hearty flavor is a great choice for all kinds of recipes. Pour over baked apples or squash, use as a glaze for meats and vegetables.
Very Dark (Strong) – Produced at the end of the season, it’s perfect for cooking! Makes Vermont baked beans, breads, and cookies especially tasty.
Healthfood / Superfood
Antioxidants have been shown to help prevent cancer, support the immune system, lower blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. Maple syrup is also a better source of some nutrients than apples, eggs or bread.
It’s more nutritious than all other common sweeteners, contains one of the lowest calorie levels, and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities.