Maple syrup is to people as honey is to bees. The production of syrup is as technical as almost any refined sugar, though like honey it is produced completely naturally, from the sap of maple trees. The process of creating maple syrup is as easy as extracting the sap from the tree and boiling off the excess water. After discussing the sap production, syrup production, and the process of creating maple sugar, we will all have a greater understanding of Maple syrup.
Maple trees first originated in China or Japan, and expand into about 100 species. " Of the four North American species good for sugaring, the hard or rock maple, Acer Saccharum, produces sap of greater quality and in greater quantity than the others and accounts for most of the syrup produced today." (On Food and Cooking, pg. 383).
Photosynthesis is the conversion of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into sugar. The better the growing conditions the better the sugar production. The most ideal conditions are a large crown of leaves, a sunny summer and fall, and a late frost. " The run itself is improved by four conditions: a severe winter that freezes the roots, snow cover that keeps the roots cold in the spring, extreme variations in temperature from day to night that are typical to mountain climates, and good exposure to the sun." (Pg. 383). The results are a thin sap that has a harsh flavor, best found in the northeastern states.
Not only maple trees have been tapped for syrup. The Birch and Elm trees have been used for syrup, but the maples produce a much sweeter sap than any other tree. "What is more peculiar is that the sap, unlike nectar, does not come from the leaves (they
have not been deployed yet) or from the roots, where sugar is of...
... middle of paper ...
...tals form, and the sugar is coarse." (Ohio State University, pg. 2)
Using very fine crystals and a small amount of syrup produces maple cream. The cream is made by cooling the syrup to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in an ice bath and stirred until the mixture is very stiff. The mass is then rewarmed in a double boiler and becomes smooth and semisoft. " Most syrups sold in stores are only "maple flavored"; check the label carefully. Pure maple syrup is much more expensive than the imitations. And
boiling syrup rises very high in the pan, so be sure you use one with plenty of extra capacity."(Morgan Sugarhouse, pg. 1).
The production of sap by the tree, syrup by man, and sugar by refining is long and meticulous. The characteristics of syrup are detailed, and the object of makers is to produce a rich product, while nurturing regularly to obtain a perfect consistency.
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