, Early Native American methods of sap collection involved cutting a V shape into the bark of the maple tree and placing a wedge at the bottom of the cut. Storage containers became larger and more effective. Zeisberger, David, 1721-1808; Hulbert, Archer Butler, 1873-1933; Schwarze, William Nathaniel, 1875-1948. And let’s not forget the Master Cleanse diet — more accurately a fast — in which people eat nothing for days on end, subsisting only on a drink made of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Your email address will not be published. Native Americans were the first to discover 'sinzibuckwud', the Algonquin (a Native American tribe) word for maple syrup, meaning literally 'drawn from wood'. Why Joe Biden Needs Mitch McConnell to Govern, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2020 TIME USA, LLC. The first people known to have manufactured maple syrup are the Native Americans living in the northeast part of North America, a long time before the arrival of the first Europeans. The immediate future of maple sugaring could bring more innovations as the process grows in popularity. They used these year after year. Native Americans began the practice long before Europeans arrived in North America. Depending on which method they use, they are able to greatly increase production and efficiency in their production, thus lowering cost for customers. For Abbot Augustus Low’s Horse Shoe Forestry Company 120 years ago, it was a novel attempt at making maple syrup in the Adirondack wilderness on a scale never before experienced. As a long time lover of maple syrup, this was most interesting and educational. Around the year 1850, large flat metal pans became available. One of the things on my “bucket list” was to go to Vermont for a “sugaring off”. The Proctor Maple Research Center at the University of Vermont has an entire staff dedicated to maple research and the advancement of the trade. All Rights Reserved. As punishment, he added water to the syrup and made the sap only available in spring. As the natural foods movement has picked up steam in recent years, maple syrup has become, along with honey, an increasingly attractive alternative to processed cane sugar. From the 17th century onward, dairy farmers who wanted to supplement their income from milk — or who just needed a source of sweetener that was better and cheaper than sugar or molasses — drilled small holes in the trees during the brief weather window between winter and spring. Early settlers in the U.S. Northeast and Canada learned about sugar maples from Native Americans. At this point, they would allow it to cool and it would be kept in baskets. Syrup production in a Quebec sugar house (2005) In 1966, a group of maple syrup producers in Quebec participated in a joint plan to collectively market maple syrup. The tagline for Log Cabin, which is made with sugar, is “Authentic Maple Tasting Syrup for over 120 years.” This careful wording is intentional and crafted to avoid false advertising claims. Early settlers in the U.S. Northeast and Canada learned about sugar maples from Native Americans. Today, there are many options available to producers. When you think of maple syrup, whose 2009 season is just now wrapping up, the first image that pops into your mind is probably a huge tree trunk with a few metal buckets strapped on. I love it! Over time, the industry evolved enough that companies from Quebec to Vermont produced ready-made “evaporators,” essentially giant frying pans with fire boxes built underneath. However, at its most basic level, the process has not changed much from the original method used by early Native Americans. As punishment, he added … If you could time travel into the future, perhaps you would find this method to be the latest trend in maple sugaring. One story states that Prince Glooskap found his people lazily drinking maple syrup right from the trees instead of working. With the modernization of the process, I am sure it won’t be quite the same as when I first read about it as a kid growing up in Massachusetts. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup because sap is about 98% water. The history of maple syrup is both interesting and informative, providing many facts concerning the sociology of early North America. This effort inspired the formation of a larger agreement all across Quebec which became known … Using an early method of tapping the sweet sap of the maple trees, these early tribes … For example, newly available vacuum pumps moved sap through the now popular plastic tubing systems that stretched from tree to sugar shack. Here’s where the magic happened. Sap would flow out of the wedge and into baskets that were placed at the base of the tree. A third story, from the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Michigan states that the god NenawBozhoo cast the spell. For example, in 2016 they published a study done on collecting sap from saplings. Native Americans began the practice long before Europeans arrived in North America. Many of these sugar bushes even have vacuum systems that suck the sap out of the trees to increase yield, along with oil-fueled furnaces and reverse osmosis filters that remove some water prior to boiling. “History” Michigan Maple Syrup Association. Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year for 2020? Maybe there’s a little wooden shack with a chimney emitting a plume of steam. Required fields are marked *. Colonists made these buckets by hollowing segments of a tree to create a seamless container. One is that the chief of a tribe threw a tomahawk at a tree, sap ran out and his wife boiled venison in the liquid. The actual maple syrup industry has grown some 10% in each of the past four years — and no, maple syrup it not just for flapjacks. In addition, producers sometimes used motor-powered tappers and metal tubing systems to simplify the transfer of sap from trees to evaporator. Finally, filtration was also improved for a purer final product.
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