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About Maple Syrup

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What is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks before the winter; the starch is converted to sugar in spring. Maple trees can be tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exude sap. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

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What Species of The Trees Produce This Sap?

Mainly, sugar maple, black maple and red maple are used to cerate maple syrup. Other species that are used are Manitoba maple, silver maple, and big-leaf maple. Maple trees of these species are centered in the north America; however, given the correct weather conditions, the trees can grow wherever the place is. For example, Korean people drink sap of maple trees rather than making maple syrup.

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Producing Maple Syrup Needs Attention in Each Stage.

Budding in spring alters the flavor of the sap, and fermentation that has been left sitting too long also changes the syrup. That is to say, sometimes, some maple products may be made through off-flavor process to modify the products that could not be processed at the proper time and proper method, so that be cautious.

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Maple Syrup May Cost A Little.

Because Maples are usually tapped beginning at 30 to 40 years of age. Each tree can support between one and three taps, depending on its trunk diameter. The average maple tree will produce 35 to 50 liters (9.2 to 13 US gal) of sap per season, up to 12 liters (3.2 US gal) per day. This is roughly equal to 7% of its total sap. The producer cannot break the trees by sucking sap completely. Seasons last for four to eight weeks, depending on the weather. At night sap retains in the roots, and during the day sap rises through the trunk as sugary sap. Some producers tap in autumn, but this is not common because autumn is the season for preparing for winter. It is against nature. However, there is one thing. To our suprise, Maples can continue to be tapped for sap until they are over 100 years old.

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Canada Products

Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world's maple syrup. The vast majority of this comes from the province of Quebec where 75 percent of global production is produced and there are 7,000 producers. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers gives quota allotments in producing. Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island produce smaller amounts of syrup. Manitoba and Saskatchewan produce maple syrup using the sap of Manitoba maple. Canada exports these products with consideration of domestic consuming. Japan is a large importer of maple syrup. 10% of Canada's maple syrup exports went to Japan.

Agriculture Canada has developed a "flavor wheel" that details 91 unique flavors that can be present in maple syrup. These flavors are divided into 13 families: vanilla, empyrematic(burnt), milky, fruity, floral, spicy, foreign deterrioration or environment, maple, confectionery, and plants forest-humus-cereals, herbaceuous or ligneous. These flavors are evaluated using a procedure similar to wine tasting.

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Maple Syrup Medical Effect

Maple syrup's natural phenols has anotioxidant compounds which inhibit two carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes that are relevant to type 2 diabetes. In this study, 34 new compounds were discovered in pure maple syrup. Although the ingredients are still unable to explained, It is agreeable that ancestors drank maple syrup anytime.

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Varieties in Usage

Maple syrup is widely used as topping for pancakes, waffles, and French toast in North America. They can also be used to flavor a a variety of foods, including fritters, ice cream, hot cereal, fresh fruit, and sausages or oatmeal and porridge. It is also used as sweetener for granola, applesauce, baked beans, candied sweet potatoes, winter squash, cakes, pies, breads, tea, coffee, and hot toddies. Maple syrup can also be used as a replacement for honey in wine(mead).

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Maple Syrup and Maple-Flavored Syrup

In the United States, "maple syrup" must be made almost entirely from maple sap, although small amounts of substances such as salt may be added. "Maple-flavored syrups" include maple syrup but may contain additional ingredients. those are called "pancake syrup", "waffle syrup", "table syrup". In these syrups, the primary ingredient is most often high fructose corn syrup flavored with sotolon, which is sometimes thickened far beyond the viscosity of maple syrup. fenugreek seed and sotolon can be prepared to have a maple-like flavor. American labeling laws prohibit imitation syrups from having "maple" in their names. In Canada, syrup must have a density of 66 degree on the Brix scale to be marked as maple syrup.

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Small History

Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigeneous peoples of North America. The practice was adopted by European settlers. According to aboriginal oral traditions, as wellas archaelogial evidence, maple tree sap was being processed into syrup long before Europeans arrived in the region. There are no authenticated accounts of how maple syrup production and consumption began, but various legends exist; one of the most popular involves maple sap being used in place of water to cook venison served to a chief. Other stories credit the development of maple syrup production tp Nanabozho, Glooskap, or the squirrel. Aboriginal tribes developed rituals around sugar-making, celebration the Sugar Moon(the first full moon of spring) with a Maple Dance. The Algonquians recognized maple sap as a source of energy and nutrition. At the beginning of the spring thaw, they used stone tools to make V-shape incisions in tree trunks; they then inserted reeds or concave pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets, which were often made from birch bark. The maple sap was concentrated either by dropping hot cooking stones into the buckets or by leaving them exposed to the cold temperatures overnight and disposing of the layer of ice that formed on top. By 1680, European settlers and fur traders who were taught how to tap the trunks of certain types of maples by aboriginal people were involved in harvesting maple products. Europeans opted to use the method of drilling tap holes in the trunks with augers. During the 17th and 18th centturies, processed maple sap was used primarily as a source of concentrated sugar, in both liquid and crystalized-solid form, as cane sugar had to be imorted from the West Indies.

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Improvement Of Producing Method

Maple sugaring parties typically began to perate at the start of the spring thaw in regions of woodland with sufficiently large numbers of maple. Syrup makers first bored holes in the trunks, usually more than on hole per large tree; they then inserted wooden spouts into the holes and hung a wooden bucket from the protruding end of each spout to collect the sap. The buckets were commonly made by cutting cylindrical segments from a large tree trunk and then hollowing out each segments'core from one end of the cylinder, creating seamless, watertight container. Sap filled the buckets, and was then either transferred to larger holding vessels(barrels, large opts, or hollowed-out wooden logs), often mounted on sledges or wagons pulled by draft animals, or carried in buckets or other convenient containers. The sap-collection buckets were returned to the spouts mounted on the trees, and the process was repeated for as long as the flow of sap remained "sweet". The collected sap was transported back to the party's base camp, where it was then poured in to large vessels(usually made from metal) and boiled to achieve the desired consistency. The boiling process was time-consuming. Around the time of the American Civil War, syrup makers started using large, flat sheet metal pans as they were more efficeint for boiling than heavy rounded iron kettles, because of a greater surface area for evaporation. Around this time, cane sugar replaced maple sugar as the dominant sweetener in US; as a result, prodcuers focused marketing efforts on maple syrup. The first evaporator, used to heat and concentrate sap, was patented in 1858. In 1872, an evaporator was developed that featured two pans and a metal arch or firebox, which greatly decreased boiling time. Around 1900, producers bent the tin that formed the bottom of a pan into a series of flues, which increased the heated surface area of the pan and again decreased boiling time. Some producers also added a finishing pan, a separate batch evaporator, as a final stage in the evaporation process. Buckets began to be replaced with plastic bags, which allowed people to see at a distance how much sap had been collected. Syrup producers also began using tractors to ahil vats of sap from the trees being tapped to evaporator. Some producers adopted motor-powered tappers and metal tubing systems to convey sap from the tree to a central collection container, butthese techniques were not widely used. Heating methods also diversified: modern producers use wood, oil, natural gas, propane, or steam to evaporate sap. Modern filtration methods were perfected to prevent contamination of the syrup. A large number of technological changes took place during the 1970s. Plastic tubing systems that had been experimental since the early part of the century were perfected, and the sap came directly from the tree to the evaporator house. Vaccume pumps were added to the tubing systems, and preheaters were developed to recycle heat lost in the steam. producers developed reverse-osmosis machines to take a portion of water out of the sap before it was boiled, increaseing processing efficiency. Recently, University of Vermont unveiled a new type of tap that prevents backflow of sap into the tree. Although technical phase of processing has been progressed, basic process is not changed.

Sap must first becollected and boiled down to obtain pure syrup without chemical agents or preservatives. Maple syrup is made by boiling between 20 and 50 liters(5.3 and US gal) of sap (depending on its concentration) over an open fire until 1 liter(0.26 US gal) of syrup is obtained, usually at a temperature 4.1 degree C(7.4 degree F) over the boiling point of water.

Boiling the syrup is tightly controlled process, which ensures appropriate sugar content. Syrup boiled too long will eventually crystalize, whereas under-boiled syrup will be watery, and will quickly spoil. The finished syrup has a density of 66 degree on the Brix scale (a hydrometric scale used to measure sugar solutions.) The syrup is then filtered to remove sugarsand, crystals made up largely of sugar and calcium malate. These crystals are not toxic, but create a "gritty" texture in the syrup if not filtered out. the filtered syrup is graded and packaged while still hot, usually at a temperature of 82 degree C (180 degree F) or greater. The containers are turned over after being sealed to sterilize the cap with the hot syrup. Packages can be made of metal, glass, or coated plastic, depending on volume and target market. The syrup can also be heated longer and further processed to create a variety of other maple products, including maple sugar, maple butter or cream, and maple candy or taffy.

The specific weather conditions of the thaw period were, and still are, critical in determining the length of the sugaring season. As the weather continues to warm, a maple tree's normal early spring biological process eventually alters the taste of the sap, making it unplatable, perhaps due to an increase in amino acids.

Technological improvements in the 1970s further refined syrup processing.

Maple syrup was promoted to eat to support abolition of slavery who worked in plantations of sugar canes. During the Second World War maple syrup is promoted to eat because of food rationing. Maple products are considered emblematic of Canada. the sugar maple's leaf had to come to symbolize Canada, and is depicted on the country's flag. Several US states, including New York, Vermont and Wisonsin, have the sugar maple as their state tree. A scene of sap collection is depicted on the Vermont state quarter, issued in 2001.

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