Maple syrup is the definitive Canadian delicacy, made from the sap of maple trees.
It is probably best known as a syrup for pancakes, waffles or french toast.
But that's just the beginning. There is much more to know about this organic all natural sweetener.
The harvest begins at the end of winter.
The process begins by tapping the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) for its sweet sap.
The traditional method involved cutting a small hole in the tree and collecting the sap with a bucket.
Modern harvesting techniques have largely replaced the bucket.
As much as we love winter, we still enjoy the arrival of spring. One of our favorite springtime activities is an afternoon at the sugar shack.
It is often referred to by several different names.
- sugar shack
- sugar bush
- sugar house, or simply sugaring.
Here in Quebec it's known as the "cabane a sucre". But whatever you call it, here is what one looks like.
For us sugaring off includes maple taffy on a bed of fresh snow, sleigh rides, and a feast fit for a lumberjack - topped with tons of maple syrup!