During my Vermont travel, I finally tried maple syrup and found out more about it. After all, Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the States.
Why maple syrup is known as superfood?
- Maple syrup is a natural sweetener, better than sugar or honey
- Maple syrup is rich in minerals and vitamins (vitamin B, calcium, phosphor, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese…)
- Due to its 54 antioxidants, maple syrup is known as the super food
- Regular consummation of maple syrup protects against arteriosclerosis and makes your immune system stronger
- Maple syrup has more calcium than milk and more potassium than banana
- You can use maple syrup when drinking tea, coffee… You can add them to yoghurt, cereals and it can even be used in baking, instead of sugar
Maple syrup and its history
Maple syrup was already known among native inhabitants, but they called it sugar water. They used it to cook game. Indians appraised the maple syrup, what can clearly be seen from their Sweet Moon celebrations (first spring moon), including maple dance.
How does maple syrup arise?
Maple syrup is mostly extract from red, black and sugar maple tree. During cold, winter months, the trunks stock starch, which later converts into tree juice due to warmer temperatures. This tree juice is actually sweet water, from which maple syrup is being made.
Production of maple syrup
When you travel to Vermont or other maple syrup countries, you might be able to noticed buckets and pipes on maple trees. If so, these are there to extract the sweet water from the trunks. Normally a cut or a small hole is made in the trunk, from which the tree juice drips. Before we get the maple syrup, the juice needs to be boiled, as it is made out of 90% of water. The water evaporates and the famous maple syrup is left. We need about 40 liters of tree juice to get out 1 liter of maple syrup.
The trees, which are used for maple syrup, must be at least 40 years old and have trunk diameter of 30 centimeters. The juice extraction is allowed from 4 to 6 weeks during February to April. You need cold nights and warm days to get the right tree juice for maple syrup production.
Quality of maple syrup and which to buy?
When you’re buying maple syrup make sure it is made of pure (100%) maple syrup. It can often happen that maple syrup is mixed with corn syrup, adding artificial colors and preservatives. The only marking of maple syrup should be with letters A-D, which state if the maple syrup is brighter/darker and with that milder/stronger in taste. A lighter and milder maple syrup only means it was extracted earlier (February) than the darker/ stronger one.
Even though I did not know much about maple syrup before my Vermont travel, I managed to bring home few small bottles. I love it and I wish I did know it before. Not a single day goes by without taking at least a spoon. Yummy!