Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a type of syrup traditionally made of xylem sap and different maple trees – sugar maple (Acer saccharum), black maple (Acer nigrum) and red maple (Acer rubrum). It is very popular in both Canada and the United States. Three quarters of all maple syrup is produced in Quebec. Maple syrup and the sugar maple tree are the symbols of Canada, the state of Vermont and several other US states.

Maple syrup
Maple syrup

The Native people of North America have been making this syrup for centuries. They called it "sweet water" or "Sinzibuckwud" ( in Algonquin, "drawn from trees"). The Europeans accepted it and later improved its production.

The maple syrup includes water, sucrose and various other sugars (fructose, glucose). There also some organic acids, especially malic acid. The minerals present in the syrup are potassium and calcium. It is a good source of zinc and manganese. Maple syrup is used in preparation of different dishes like for example breads, pies, pancakes and waffles.

In Montreal and some other parts of Quebec people enjoy the lovely tradition known as sugaring-off. It exists from late February till early May. People visit sugar shacks (sugar cabins). Sugar shack or cabane à sucre is a building where maple syrup is processed. Lot of hot maple taffy is consumed. Visitors travel in horse drawn sleighs and wagons. Traditional music is performed.