It was, reportedly, a French missionary who was the first settler to make maple syrup in 1690. Other Europeans added their own technologies to the process. They bored holes in the maple trunks and inserted wooden or metal spouts. They used wooden buckets to catch the sap, and then carried the sweet water on shoulder yokes to the metal boiling kettles. Early settlers, like the Native Americans, saved their maple as crystallized sugar. Maple sugar was the sole source of sweetener, as cane sugar was not introduced in America until the 1800’s. At the time cane sugar was first introduced, maple sugar was much less expensive, and thought to be tastier.
Early in Vermont’s history, each family made their own maple sugar for personal consumption. Later, sugar makers started businesses to produce maple products and sell them to the general public. Technology changed again, and tanks on sleds were used to collect the sap and were drawn by horses or oxen. The sugar house was now their destination where the invention of the evaporator gave more control to the sugarmakers boiling process.
Today, plastic tubing transports the sap from the trees to gathering tanks. From there it is transported to the sugar house where it is transferred to a central storage tank to feed the evaporator which boils off most of the water, leaving sweet, thick maple syrup.
Pure Maple Syrup is a natural and nutritious sweetener and is a smart choice as a topping or as a flavorful ingredient in baking and cooking.
Kids love Maple Syrup and the New York State Maple Producers are always educating and entertaining children and families throughout the year.