December 17th is the unofficial National Maple Syrup Day. In honor of this day here are 13 interesting facts regarding maple syrup:
The International Maple Syrup Institute was founded in 1975 with the mission of promoting the use of pure maple syrup and protecting the integrity of the product.
It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
Most trees only yield 5-15 gallons of sap per season.
Maple syrup comes in several color-based grades. The sugar content in maple syrup remains the same in different grades only the color and flavor change. These changes occur in the tree itself as a chemical reaction to the changing outside temperatures.
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that contains no added sugar, coloring agents, artificial flavorings, preservatives or other additives, and is a superior source of important nutrients and vitamins when compared to other sweeteners.
About 80 percent of the world’s supply of maple syrup comes from Canada.
Prior to the American Civil War maple sugar was still the product produced from maple sap, not syrup as sugar did not need any refrigeration. Hence the building where this process occurred was called a sugarhouse not a syrup-house. The term “Sugarhouse” is still commonly used today.
Maple syrup is the only food derived from plant sap.
Maple syrup can’t freeze.
Sugar, Black, and Red maples are the trees that are important for maple syrup production.
Maple trees can live to 200 years and beyond and have been tapped for 150 years or more.
“May your sap run strong and sweet” is a common “good luck” saying between sugarmakers.
The more leaves on a maple trees crown the sweeter the sap. It’s more important to have more leaves per acre than more trees per acre to improve one’s production.