Maple Syrup Fun Facts
Who discovered Maple Syrup?
There have been a few different explanations of the how maple syrup was discovered over the years. One thing we know for certain is that we can thank Native Americans in New England for it. Maple syrup, and the knowledge of how to harvest it, was one of the first gifts given to white settlers by Native Americans who regard the sap of the maple tree as a direct gift from the Great Spirit. Each year, they welcomed the sugaring season with big thanksgiving celebrations. Maple syrup was an important part of surviving the long, cold winters for Native Americans and settlers alike.
A widely accepted story of tells how the daily task of boiling water to prepare a meal led to this important agricultural discovery. It goes like this:
A Native American woman placed her cooking pot under a maple tree, where she could easily find it the next morning to bring to the spring to gather water for cooking Later, her partner came home from a frustrating day of hunting and plunged his hatchet into the maple tree above where the woman set the pot.
Early the next morning, the hunter left to resume his search for meat. When the woman woke up, she noticed that the pot under the tree was already full of water. She assumed her partner filled the pot before he left and began warming the water over the fire, hoping that her hunter would bring home some meat to cook.
But that water was actually sap from the maple tree. As it boiled and evaporated, she noticed that the liquid got darker and sweeter. That pot was the first batch of pure maple syrup!
Where is Maple Syrup Harvested/Produced?
Maple forests are only found in the northeast quarter of the North American continent. The trees thrive only in a specific region from New England to Minnesota and the Canadian provinces nearby. Some small maple forests are also found as far south as Kentucky and Virginia. Many people in other areas know very little about the difference between pure maple syrup and artificially flavored & colored ‘pancake syrup’ commonly found in stores. If it doesn’t say pure maple syrup on the ingredient panel, is not the natural good stuff that comes from Maple trees!
How much sap is needed to make a gallon of Maple Syrup?
It takes 40-50 gallons of maple sap from maple trees to make a single gallon of Maple Syrup! It also takes lots of fuel, time and patience to evaporate enough water out of the sap to leave it with the 67.5% sugar needed to be considered maple syrup!