About Maple Syrup
Real Vermont maple syrup is one of the best ingredients on earth, but many people might not know just how special this traditional product is when they go to pour it on their pancakes or waffles. Ledge Haven Farm wants you to better understand how our maple syrup is made and how to keep it tasting great.
How Is Maple Syrup Produced?
Maple syrup is produced from the clear, watery sap that is collected from the sugar maple tree. The sap begins to flow when temperatures begin to rise above freezing during the day but fall below freezing at night. A small hole or holes are drilled into each tree and connected to a network of tubing. The sap collects in main gathering tanks which are then brought to the sugarhouse. We filter the sap and process it through Reverse Osmosis. This will remove around 75% of the water leaving a sugary concentrate which is boiled down in the evaporator until the liquid reaches the right consistency determined by a hydrometer. Sap must be boiled to 217 ° F to become syrup.
The sap runs intermittently over the next 4-6 weeks or until the weather warms up and buds begin to form on the trees. This usually occurs around early to mid-April. The maple trees that produce this sap are at least 40 years old, and it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of syrup. That means it takes the annual sap output of four mature maple trees to make just one gallon of maple syrup! To this very day, Vermont remains the largest single producer of maple syrup in the United States.
A small hole is drilled into the trees and connected to a network of tubing to collect sap into a central gathering tank for transport to the sugarhouse.
The sap is filtered and concentrated by removing up to 75% of the water before it enters the evaporator.
The sugary concentrate is boiled in the evaporator until it reaches the right consistency and is then filtered to remove any impurities.
Maple Syrup Grades
Golden Color/Delicate Flavor: Usually made in the beginning of the season. A gourmet topping for many desserts. Try on vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Supplies limited.
Amber Color/ Rich Flavor: A more pronouced maple flavor making it one of the most popular for all around use.me.
Dark Color/Robust Flavor: Dark amber color and robust flavor make it ideal flavoring in many recipes as well as table use. Pour over baked apples or squash or use as a glaze for meats and vegetables.
Very Dark/Strong Flavor: Produced at the end of the season, it is perfect for cooking things liked Vermont baked beans, breads or cookies. Supplies limited.
Pure maple syrup is an entirely natural product featuring no preservatives or additives. It also contains many nutrients, including:
- Minerals (Calcium & Potassium) – Maple Syrup Has the Same Calcium Content as Whole Milk
- Vitamins (B2, B5, B6, Niacin, Biotin, & Folic Acid)
- Amino Acids
- Only 40 Calories per Tablespoon (Compared to Corn Syrup’s 60 Calories)
The Proper Care & Storage of Maple Syrup
An unopened container of maple syrup will last indefinitely. Just keep it stored in a cool, dark place. Once the container is opened, store it in the refrigerator or freezer.