Yesterday we (Mike, Sawdust our dog and I) drove up to New Hampshire to check out a Sugar House and see how Maple Syrup is made! There is still lots of snow in New Hampshire...and we were in Southern New Hampshire -- The Sugar House was actually in Dublin. We also hung out in Nashua a bit.
We got to see the giant bucket/kettle that the sap is boiled down...and taste some syrup that had just been made! YUM! Real Maple syrup is very buttery --and I'd compare it to the difference between mass-produced chocolate vs. the real thing. Its just better.
It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce a single gallon of Syrup! The steam coming out of this building is the water being boiled out of the sap. This is the Morning Star Maple Company in Dublin:
MARCH 29TH & 30TH, 2008
Borrowed from http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/
"Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.
As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap Harvest.
In late February, New Hampshire maple producers tap their sugar maples by drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spout. A bucket or plastic tubing is fastened to the spout and the crystal clear sap drips from the tree. It is then collected and transported to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as syrup. It is then drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded and bottled. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.
Maple syrup is made in the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada, and the maple season usually lasts 4-6 weeks. The days and length of the sap runs depend entirely on the weather.
We hope you will visit a sugar house during the maple season and learn for yourself just how this ancient tradition is carried on. New Hampshire's maple producers take great pride in the high quality of their maple products. Many sugar houses are open throughout the year, selling their pure maple delicacies. Click on our list of sugar houses for further information."And here's an awesome picture of Sawdust...who had a fun day too!