Numbers to Sink Your Teeth Into : 

Québec has more than 10,000 maple producers. – Source: www.siropderable.ca

Approximately 83% of the world’s production of maple syrup comes from Canada. Québec alone supplies almost 92% of the national production, with only 4% coming from Ontario and 4% from the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island). Source: Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs of Ontario

In Québec, there are 256 roads named “Maple Street”, 68 named “Maple Lane”, 27 named “Maple Avenue” and 14 named “Maple Road”. Source: Commission de toponymie, Gouvernement of Québec – 2004

Some American states also produce maple syrup and their production has always remained stable. By contrast, Canada’s maple syrup production has doubled over the last 20 years.

A mature maple tree can give between 60 and 160 litres of sap per season.

 

Les produits de l'érable

The Many Uses of Maple

The wood of the sugar maple varies in colour from almost white to light gold and is very sought after in construction and cabinetmaking. The nicest floors are made of maple as dried maple planks do not lose their shape. Because maple wood does not warp from heat or humidity, steps, banisters and even bowling alleys are often fabricated of this wood. Musical instruments, especially wind instruments, are also made from maple.


Source: CROTEAU, ANDRÉ, (1996) Guide de la Forêt québécoise, saison par saison, Les Éditions de L'Homme.


Delicious and Nutritious!!

Maple products are increasingly being used more than other sweetening agents because of the vitamins, minerals and phenol substances they contain. Maple syrup also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which play essential roles in our immune system against disease. In equal quantities, maple syrup contains fewer calories and more minerals than honey. These minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium) are also slightly more concentrated.

* For 60 ml (¼ cup, in % DV1) Maple Syrup* Honey Sugar Brown Sugar
Manganese 100 3 0 9
Riboflavin 37 2 1 0
Zinc 18 2 0 1
Magnesium 7 1 0 7
Calcium 5 0 0 5
Potassium 5 1 0 6
Calories 217 261 196 211

To add flavour and increase the nutritive value of a recipe, you can replace refined white sugar with maple syrup or maple sugar using the following quantities: 335 ml (1⅓ cup) of maple syrup or 150 g (1 cup) of maple sugar for 225 g (1 cup) of white sugar. If you use maple syrup, reduce by 85 ml (⅓ cup), the liquid called for in your recipe.

1DV: The Daily Value is the amount deemed sufficient to meet the daily needs of the majority of healthy individuals. Source: Canadian Nutrient File (Health Canada)
Sources:
www.siropderable.ca CintechAgroalimentaire for the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles of Québec (nutritional values for maple syrup) and the Canadian Nutrient File (Health Canada) (honey, white sugar and brown sugar).

Sweet...water!

Did you know that, worldwide, there are approximately 125 species of maple trees, and two-thirds of them grow in China? Among these different species, only the sugar maple converts the starch made during its growth to make a sweet tasting sap. This substance mixes with water absorbed by the roots and lightly sweetens the sap.

With the warming temperatures in spring, water lodged in the trunk and roots of maple trees begins to expand and create pressure inside the trees. The variable temperature, below freezing nights and above zero days, makes the dripping sap more favourable. The sap is then collected and transported back to the sugar shack to be boiled down and made into syrup.

Sweet Expressions

Local Sugar
Local sugar was the term used by our ancestors for maple syrup.

Sugar Year
Describes an abundant year for maple syrup production. This term can also refer to the number of years a maple producer has been in operation.

Sugar Snow
When a significant amount of snow falls in spring, we call it a sugar snow. This sugar snow usually occurs only once during the springtime and serves to increase the flow of maple sap.

Sugaring-off Party
Sugaring-off parties give family and friends the opportunity to celebrate the end of the sugaring season by enjoying a delicious meal in the warm ambiance of the sugar shack.

Sugar Bushes: Countering the Effects of Climate Change

These days, every effort counts, even the smallest ones, and maple producers play an important role. With their attention to forest management, maple producers ensure the health of their sugar bushes. This includes encouraging sustainable development with the production of maple syrup, the ecological balance of the maple population as well as the nutritional balance of the soil. As part of a forest’s ecosystem, a sugar bush extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - the main component of the greenhouse effect. With maple producers carefully culling their maples with respect to the size and growth of the trees; establishing young maples in forest gaps; and ensuring there are trees of different sizes in the sugar bush, they know they’ll have a healthy sugar bush, while at the same time contributing to environmental protection.

Maple in the World

Québécers are not the only ones enamoured by the exquisite taste of maple. However, maple products are a rare and precious treat with only Canada and the United States producing them. This is why many countries are eager to consume our products. Among them: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland and Holland. A little-known fact: even though the United States is second in maple syrup production in the world, they are the biggest importer of it!

A Tasty Treat!

Québécers are fond of maple products and the most popular one is, without a doubt, the syrup.

To make maple syrup, the sap must be boiled at 104°C to evaporate water contained in it and concentrate all the sugar. You need 35 to 40 litres of maple sap to make one litre of maple syrup.

Maple taffy, maple butter and maple sugar are highly prized by gourmets and it is interesting to learn more about how they are made.
The maple syrup is boiled a second time, to different temperatures, in order to obtain the specific maple product you want.

Maple taffy, which you can eat at a sugar shack, is easy to prepare. Simply boil the syrup until the temperature reaches 238°F (114°C) and then pour it on clean snow while it is still hot. You can eat it by using a wooden spatula. You can purchase taffy in a jar to consume at home as well.

To make maple butter, you must vigorously stir the taffy for several minutes over heat. Maple butter does not contain real dairy butter, even though it is as creamy.

Last, but not least, maple sugar. This product requires the syrup be heated to the highest point in order for all the water to evaporate. Heat the syrup to 248°F (120°C) for very hard sugar and to 255°F (123.9°C) to obtain granulated sugar.

Now that you know more about these products, all that is left to do is enjoy them!

Storing Maple Syrup

An unopened, hermetically sealed can of maple syrup can be stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place. Once opened, it must be refrigerated or frozen in order to slow down the evaporation process. Maple syrup, like maple butter, maple sugar and maple taffy, is freezable. The freezer is recommended for longer storage periods (1 to 3 months). As soon as you open a can of maple syrup, the evaporation process begins, increasing the concentration of sugar and leading to the crystallization of excess sugar.

A Liquid with Class

It goes without saying that maple syrup is a much-appreciated and sought-after product. With the wide variety available, it can sometimes be difficult to choose between them. Above all, it is essential to know how to recognize the quality of maple syrup, which can be defined by its density and colour. For example, a watery maple syrup will be unstable and will have the tendency to ferment and go sour. On the other hand, a very dense maple syrup will crystallize easily. Also, the taste of the syrup can be as different as the colours. Here are some characteristics to take into account before your next purchase that will help.

Categories:

AA Extra Light
A Light
B Medium
C Amber
D Dark

Classification of maple syrup by colour:

No 1 Clear and uniform colour
Colour class: Extra Light, Light or Medium
No 2 Clear and uniform colour
Colour class: Amber
Flavour that is typical of maple syrup
No 3 Colour class: Extra Light, Light, Medium, Amber or Dark