Maple Syrup HistoryThe word "maple" comes to us from the Old English mapel. Acer saccarum, known as the sugar maple, hard maple or rock maple, and Acer nigrum or black maple are the two varieties with the sweetest sap.
Although maple trees grow in Europe, Europeans were unaware of the potential uses of the sweet sap until colonists learned how to tap the trees from Native Americans who had long been using maple sap as a sugar source.
The Native Americans later traded what they called sweetwater with the colonists. After the passage of the 1764 Sugar Act imposing high tariffs on imported sugar, maple sweeteners became even more popular.
After the colonists learned how to tap maple trees, they soon realized the practice of slashing the trees to retrieve the sap was not the ideal method. It not only resulted in a lot of waste, but it also damaged the trees. The use of taps, troughs and buckets ensued.
Nowadays, sugarmakers recommend no more than three taps per tree to avoid damage, and the sap is still collected via spouts with hanging galvanized metal buckets.
Maple syrup is only produced in North America, since Europe does not have the proper weather conditions conducive to producing meaningful amounts of sap.
More About Maple Syrup and Maple Syrup Recipes• Maple Syrup Storage, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
• Maple Syrup Grades and Quality Standards
• Maple Syrup Production - How to make maple syrup
• Maple Syrup History
• Maple Syrup Lore and Legend
• Maple Syrup Recipes
Maple Syrup Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|•||Sugartime: The Hidden Pleasures of Making Maple Syrup|
|•||Making Maple Syrup|
|•||Amateur Sugar Maker|