Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Misty Maples Syrup Farm

I love field trip days! It is a day I get to practice French, not be stuck in a classroom all day, be around friends, and get to be a tourist...all in one event! The coveted trip of the year? The syrup farm or "cabane à sucre."
We got to "tour" a Maple Syrup farm and learn all about the process of making syrup (in French). I would like to share with you a little about the process.
A hole is drilled into a maple tree that is at least 30 years old. Then, a tap is placed into the hole to allow the tree's water to drip out. The nectar gathers into buckets attached to the tree. The buckets have covers to prevent anything from contaminating the liquid. Unfortunately for us maple syrup lovers, syrup gathering is only available in certain temperatures and only for a few weeks during the year. This is why it is so expensive!
We were allowed to drink some of the water. It tasted like refreshing water, with a hint of sweetness.
How much water does it take to make syrup? Forty (40) gallons of maple water equals one gallon of syrup! The syrup at this farm just happens to be boiled by hand on site.
Depending on how long the water is boiled will yield a different grade. The darker the grade, the thicker the syrup. Which is better quality? Well, it all depends on the person. Some like it thick and dark, while others like it thin, clearer, and runny.
The highlight of the day? A traditional Canadian candy: Tire Sur La Neige (maple taffy on snow). Hot maple taffy is poured on the snow. Using sticks, you roll the syrup up on a stick and eat (with or without peanuts)! Yum!
Pouring the candy
Rolling the candy
Kevin is enjoying his with peanuts

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