As winter slowly fades in Canada, a sure sign of spring emerges. Tree sap begins to flow from maple trees.
Before the days of elaborate tubing, each tree was tapped and a bucket hung from the tap to catch the sap. A lot more physical work then there is with today’s tube system. Now the smaller tubes at each tree lead to bigger feeder tubes which all lead down to the “sugar shack”. Maple syrup production dates backs hundreds of years in Canada. This is pure nostalgia.
And if you’ve ever had real maple syrup (not the clear plastic bottle found in the grocery store), then you know what’s coming next – fresh, real and authentic Canadian maple syrup. And like a fine wine, it comes in different varieties – Light, Amber, Dark and different grades. $24 for a 1 litre jug; $80 for a 4 litre jug.
It’s such an occasion that it is a “Maple Syrup Festival” (in this case, the “Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival” in Raglan, Ontario). Literally hundreds of syrup fans (including many from other countries) enjoying new syrup over pancakes after their pilgrimage through the woods. Within 3 weeks, it’s all over. The sap stops running. And we wait until next spring…