Sugaring maple or sugar-makers are both terms that refer to the production of maple syrup, and that particular process has not changed much since the early Native American Indians,(specifically the Mohicans),had developed the technique hundreds of years ago.
Although there are many varieties of maple, the sugar maple is the major source of sap for making the famous maple syrup.The sugar maple is also very important to the ecology of many forests in North America.
In keeping with tradition, the sugar-makers take to the woods from mid-February through early April to begin the process of tapping. This procedure encompasses drilling a small hole into the trunks of maple trees where they insert spouts to catch the pure sap that oozes from these wonderful life-giving specimens.
The actual sap contains about 98% water and two percent sugar along with some other minerals and nutrients. In order to extract the pure syrup a technique is required, which involves evaporating the excess water by boiling the sap using large cast-iron cauldrons. The end result is to have about a third of water remaining with at least two-thirds of sugar. They must always keep a watchful eye so the sap does not burn which would destroy the delicate liquid. After the sap has been boiled it is then ready to be processed into candy, sugar, and cream.
This labor-intensive process not only takes up a lot of time and energy, it also requires 40 gallons of sap to make only one gallon of pure maple syrup. It is understandable why pure maple syrup can be a little pricey to buy in the market. But it does taste awesome when poured over pancakes or waffles, which I know most of us have enjoyed eating.
Our maple sugar comes from pure maple. You can use maple sugar in many creative ways being that it's just like regular sugar but with the rich flavor of pure maple. Add it in your baking recipes for cakes, breads, cup-cakes, muffins; or just sprinkle it on toast, porridge, fruit cups, yogurt and even in hot beverages. Maple sugar also adds extra richness to meat rubs and marinades - perfect for holiday roasts.
Id like to leave you with this scrumptious recipe for making maple cupcakes:
Maple Cupcakes - click link