These are the rest of my New York trip photos. We visited a friends sap house where I took a bunch of photos of the process of making maple syrup and other maple products. Just note: This is in no way meant as a tutorial – and thank goodness because as you will see, I am just chalk full of really informative details here.
The process begins of course with the initial tapping of the trees.
They run the sap that has been collected into a large tank outside of the sap house in through the tubes and into this large (uh, yeah I totally don’t remember what this thing is even called…)
If I remember right each of these sections get progressively hotter. You’ve got to keep it stirred so it doesn’t burn…
Once it has reached the right temperature it is put into another container.
The sap is filtered on it’s way out…
So I’m a little confused as to why it is transferred into this other pan, but it is. This particular part I actually learned first while watching Curious George with J. He wanted pancakes but didn’t have syrup so he attempted to just get sap from a tree. Anyway, they taught him how to boil it and how to keep it from boiling over, and that was with the use of butter. This also helps to keep from too much foam forming. Funny, when they were explaining this part to me I actually felt proud of myself for knowing this… Thanks George!!
So depending on what you are making you cook it to the necessary temperature.
And into jugs, jars, or bottles they go.
We tried the maple candies and they were awesome. Kind of like a maple flavored sugar cube maybe? But softer and smoother. John (the owner of the sap house) cooked up some waffles and sausage and after that he insisted on us trying ice cream with maple syrup. I know, I know, sounds like a LOT of sugar… and it was. But it was really good and actually was way less rich than fudge or caramel on your ice cream. It actually enhanced the vanilla flavor. I would definitely eat my ice cream like that again.
The sap house is not only a place to make syrup and candies, but its always a place where friends get together and hang out. Most of the people present were just friends that had come by after finishing up work on their own farms. Apparently they gathered like this often – no planning, no purpose. All kind of helping out, learning, teaching, chatting, or eating. There is a really strong sense of community like nothing I’ve ever experienced out west.