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Sunday, February 12. 2017
Maple sap begins to flow when there are sufficient daily temperature swings between below and above freezing. That tends to be towards late February-early March in New England, depending on latitude and the weather. Curiously, Sugar Maple sap does not just flow up from the roots - it flows both downwards from the branches and up the trunk, depending on the time of day and the whim of the tree.
Our Vermont friends have been busy getting ready for sugarin', so it's time for some info. We tend to think of Vermont maple syrup, but Canada is the major producer. We consume it abundantly in New England and do not approve of the cheap substitute goop in the supermarkets. We buy the real stuff by the gallon when we can, especially the Grades below Light Amber. You can buy the rather intense Grade B here, but I think I prefer the third level of Grade A - Dark Amber. This place sells all of the grades.
- Put it on oatmeal like the Pilgrims did.
Thoughts On A Sunday
Beezlebub is on vacation this week and will be spending it down at the WP In-Laws, helping around their place and getting all the taps, tubing, and buckets set up to collect sap from sugar maples to make maple...
Weblog: Weekend Pundit
Tracked: Feb 21, 19:23
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Nearby where I live in Michigan is this,
where they hold a Maple Syrup Festival every year.
I love maple syrup.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Indians had butter, BD.
Having only lived in a maple syrup producing state for about 2 1/2 years, we recently discovered something called maple cream. Uh, what does one do with it? Eat it on biscuits?
Maple sugar and snow: There's the end-of-season ski race called the sugar slalom, held at Stowe in April. This is a racer favorite:
As for maple cream, eat it straight or on biscuits or ....
For a while, we will be rotating our headline images with Currier and Ives prints from the mid-1800s.
Vermont commemorates it on their quarter, depicting a man peeing on a tree.
Thanks for the fine info on maple syrup. It's very expensive in Tn so I rarely buy it.It is surprising the farmers only get $2-3 per gal. I'm going to check but I think it's $1 per oz here.
Pies, frostings, candies, homemade ice cream, Bar-B-Q sauce, baked beans, roast poultry and pork glaze... I'm getting hungry! The acorn squash is particularly tasty! My brother loves banana/maple cream pie.
Both my grandmother and mother-in-law could go through a jug in no time. My father wouldn't start a Bar-B-Q without it. Nothing worse than trying to find the good stuff in fall when planning for holiday cooking. Stock up now.
The missus has told me to learn where this is that we could aquire our needs for that 20/gallon sort of price....
In STL it is about $20 a quart. Some middle man is really making quite a profit.
Scrapple, thinly sliced and fried to a deep golden brown, then drizzled with maple syrup. The only way to eat the stuff.
Though once upon a time leftover cold linguine with maple syrup was a quick way to get a breakfast buzz.
1/2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. Rum, overproof/151 proof
to fill Water
1 tbsp. Butter
1 oz. Maple Syrup
Put water, butter and syrup in a big (12oz.+) mug. Nuke it until it is just about to boil. Take it out of microwave, add Kahlua and Rum.
2 sticks (8 oz.) softened butter (use unsalted for baking)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped nuts
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat.
2. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk, vanilla and maple syrup. Slowly add to the butter mix, beating at low speed until well-mixed.
3. Stir in the flour and nuts by hand. Divide the dough in half and flatten into discs. Wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight unless you wish to freeze it for baking later. If you freeze the dough, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, let it stand about five minutes at room temp to slightly soften. Then roll it out between two sheets of waxed paper until it’s ¼ inch thick.
4. Cut into the shapes you wish with cookie cutters. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees until golden. Cool on wire racks. Store in tightly sealed tins.
One of the delicious things I miss down here in Texas is Philadelphia scrapple thinly sliced, as Dan D says, fried a deep golden brown and drizzled with maple syrup. We just don't have that down here in Texas, just as we don't have real, glorious weisswurst [delicate, perishable veal sausage] during the Oktoberfest days. And I miss them both.
Of course, one must not inquire too deeply about what actually goes into scrapple, or it would probably put you off, just as watching sausage being made would give you a distaste for the stuff. At least for awhile. But don't think about that. Just thank God for small but tasty favors if you are lucky enough to be served thin-sliced scrapple fried to golden brown and sauced with maple syrup.
Count your blessings.
Love Scrapple, thanks to my Philly kinfolk, and never thought a second about what was in it until my husband read the wrapper. No one here will eat it but my momma will still fry it up if we are at her home for a holiday. Yum!
In my quest to limit my addiction to white sugar, I learned that maple syrup sweetens coffee very well. You would think it would taste maple-y, but it doesn't. It goes very well with coffee. Down here in the South it is expensive, though, so I do buy whatever is on sale for that purpose and save the better stuff for pancakes.
I am definitely going to try some of these recipes, especially the Toddy. :)
Where's the $20 a gallon syrup?
I'm sure the $60 a gallon stuff is good but, really, I'd really much rather pay $20.
This is an outrage. Oh to be able to buy this elixer for 20 little US dollars a gallon.
Suffering forward in Missouri....
Maple Syrup on Vanilla ice cream.
Oh it's soooooooo good.....
Two thumbs up. I was going to make the same recommendation. Also, have it with yogurt.
Yep, and add a couple of walnutsâ€¦ Heaven on your taste buds!
Maple cup eggs:
1 slice bread per egg, crust cut off
50/50 mix maple syrup and melted butter, blend well and keep warm
With a rolling pin or bottle, flatten the bread as much as possible. Dredge in the syrup/butter mixture until saturated. Press into cupcake pan to fill and conform the cavity. Drop in a little of the mixture, then an egg. Bake at 350 until edges are browned and egg is done to taste- should not be hard, though. With a knife, free the bread from the cup and lift out. Enjoy. You can shave in a little gruyere or parmesan or flaked ham or flaked smoked salmon under the egg if you like. Do NOT use tarragon-not compatible.
Very expensive here in the middle east - works out to 10 dollars for a pint/500ml.
My Canadian brother-in-law brings 1/2 gallon jugs every time he flies back.
I heard they have freeze-dried maple sugar. I'd like to try ordering that. We have water.
Works with whole chicken or holiday turkey.
Fry down onions and garlic until they are soft, add maple syrup. Use your stick blender to puree it.
Now spread it under the skin of your bird, and roast.
Well, this recipe for bacon jam only uses a half a cup of maple syrup but it is still a great treat for those who only have time for toast in the morning
Back in the late '80s & early '90s we would go UpNort to make maple syrup. We never made a whole lot, I recall having every vertical heating surface in our cabin with a pan of sap boiling down. My uncle then had purpose built stainless sap boiling vessels made and cooking down the sap outside.
However, then we got back into downhill skiing and have not made any since. The farmer not too far from our cabin makes maple syrup in a serious way, with a cook shack and a crib all full of firewood.
atop scrambled eggs --better than honey, which is good, too --
I can assure you that as a Maple producer NO ONE is buying it for $20 per gallon. We are selling it wholesale for much closer to $25 per gallon and retail it is selling anywhere from $45 to $60 per gallon right here in the heart of Maple Country.
Perhaps you meant pounds? Most wholesale maple is sold by the pound and we are averaging about $2.60 per pound right now depending on grade
I live in northern Vt and this is season is off to a good start. The French Canadians poach eggs in syrup and serve on top of pancakes. I am going to try that this year.
Got 6 quarts Fancy Grade from my backyard sugar house yesterday, and another six will be done today. Promising start here in NH.
I happened to be in the grocery store one day, and as I migrated into the aisle with the pancake mixes and pseudo-syrups I came upon a guy clearly confused by the options - most of which had some sort of lettering proclaiming "real maple flavor". Being the nosy-knickers I am, I stepped in beside him, grabbed the one option off the shelf I knew was pure Vermont maple syrup, and handed it to him saying something to the effect that if he's gonna to do it, pull the trigger and do it right. I then went on my way. Don't know if he ever did buy what I suggested.
Love the suggestion of using it on salmon. Have to give that a try for Friday's fish dinner.
The Dark Side of Quebec Maple Syrup.
There is a syrup marketing 'federation'. Production is by government enforced quota.
Some syrup producers want out.
Good luck with that.
Which causes the inevitable smuggling of Maple Syrup.
My three favorite flavors in the world, Maple, Cinnamon, and Vanilla. - Combine with a nice bread, a little egg, a touch of milk, some heat.
Egg,milk,cinnamon,and vanilla get mixed, bread get's dipped, heat applied, covered in maple syrup.
So here's a question - if you can store it unopened, then there's something about the way it's bottled that keeps it from getting moldy - If you were to get a gallon (or 20) and rebottle it for ease of handling, what do you do to keep the now smaller containers from molding?
I'm thinking of: Small canning jars or ... then using a nitrogen gas just prior to sealing (you can buy it like canned air - used for wine and other stuff). Would that be sufficient? Anyone know?
We tapped our own trees this year (first time) but the season changed so fast we barely got one good run. still ended up with a couple of liters of the good stuff. Not surprised to hear about the Quebec Mafia- I mean government- stepping on yet another industry. Quebec's natural beauty is surpassed only by its corruption.
Michael Gardner (#21) is right about prices.
Here is another good use for maple syrup that I have not seen mentioned here yet - switchel, the original sports drink:
The brew at this link is a slightly different recipe from what I drank in the hay field, growing up on a farm here in Vermont, but I like it!
Maple syrup grades are set by the government and they are changing. Vermont is first out of the gate:
Why does government need to be involved in the grading of maple syrup? The classification of maple syrup should be left to the market, a negotiation between buyer and seller.
Last year I gave a presentation on a concept that I call Slow Government. Basically, small government. I used the grading of maple syrup as a case study:
since the place you linked seems to be out of business, any other suggestions as to a good source to buy from?
You can buy Vermont maple syrup here:
The above link is the farm I grew up on, now run by my brother.
If you prefer to buy from a larger outfit, I can vouch for all of these sources:
Excellent links by EarlW (#25) about the Quebec syrup cartel. The "Federation" is helping the growth of the maple syrup industry in the United States.
There is an excellent new book out about the maple industry: The Sugar Season, by Douglas Whynott, published March 2014:
It includes discussion of the infamous 2012 Canadian maple syrup heist, and much more. I'm not sure I agree with the author's conclusions about climate change, but still a good book. Lots of stories about the people in the maple industry.
A potentially revolutionary development in maple syrup production:
The research, published in October 2013, was done at the UVM maple research farm, not far from my home.
The article states that I can buy syrup "here" and at "this place," but the links do not work for me. While this breakdown may be explained because the article is a re-post, so the links may be no longer in use, but I am left with no place to buy the syrup. Do you have fresh links? TIA
I don't know about the "here" link, but the updated link for "this place" appears to be:
Also see some sources in my comment #30.1.
There is an interesting Associated Press article published today in the Burlington (VT) Free Press, and other places, about the maple syrup industry. Here's the BFP link:
The article talks about the "Sweetree" operation in Island Pond, VT which installed 95,000 taps in the past 12 months (that's big) and plans to go to 500,000 taps (that's huge). The name of the company is really Sweet Tree Holdings 1, LLC. It is owned by Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC of New Haven, CT which is a real estate investment arm of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
The maple syrup industry is growing and changing significantly. Above are several links about this that I posted in April 2014 and today.
In addition to those links, if you have a subscription to Yankee magazine, see the article in the January/February 2015 issue by Ben Hewitt: "Boom or Bust in the Sugarfields." It's a good article about how the maple syrup industry is changing.
Above I have posted links about changes in the maple syrup industry, mostly at the industrial scale. There are changes for the hobbyist, too.
Almost all commercial operations use tubing with vacuum to boost production. For the hobbyist who uses tubing instead of buckets, but does not want to invest in vacuum, recent research suggests that smaller tubing can improve yields.
The standard tubing size is 5/16-inch. UVM's Proctor Maple Research Center has demonstrated that production in a non-vacuum system can be increased significantly by switching to 3/16-inch tubing.
More info at these links:
Sad news from Maine from Sippican
There are no wares this year because there is no sugar. In order to get the maple sap that gets boiled endlessly down into syrup, the temperature has to rise above 32 degrees Farenheit for more than ten minutes at a time, and it hasn't done so.
Damn that Global Warming!
Sweeten ricotta cheese with maple syrup. Pipe it into cannoli shells, waffle cones or just eat it straight.
$ - We pay retail in the $20s/gallon, but the farmers get between $2-$3/gallon, usually. More in a "bad" year.
If the farmer markets his own maple syrup, he gets the $20s per gallon or better. IIRC, I paid $23/qt last year from a family friend who sells what he collects on his property.
The maple syrup distillery process is high-falutin' advanced these days. I saw nano filters, which increase maple syrup concentration by a factor of 4, which means 75% reduction in fuel costs.
A young friend who is a maple-syrup farmer and high-school science teacher was telling me about advances in the tree-growing part as well. Don't expect the price to come down much, but it should stabilise, rather than varying so much.
What to pour it on? My late wife loved to pour it on bacon.
maple syrup over french vanilla ice cream. Very nice, simple dessert.