Maple syrup is a treat that has earned itself a sweet reputation in Canada. In fact, we produce about eighty per cent of the world’s maple syrup, with Quebec producing more than two-thirds of that. Harvested one tree at a time, it takes 40-50 gallons of sap to create one gallon of nature’s “liquid gold”. Last year Canada produced 12.53 million gallons- that’s a whole lot of syrup!
Warmer weather in spring entices sugar maple trees to turn stored starch back into sugar. Sap is made as the tree mixes ground water with the sugar. The sap is removed from the tree through a spout and is boiled to remove excess water until it reaches the syrupy consistency we all know and love. Maple syrup is boiled even further to make delicious treats like maple cream, maple sugar and maple candy.
Maple syrup is a staple in any Canadian kitchen. Drizzling it on your Sunday pancakes is just the beginning. Who said it was just for breakfast? It’s a great natural sweetener for coffee or tea, or stirred into whipped cream, oatmeal or yogurt. Whisk maple syrup into a salad dressing, make candied nuts or granola. Whether you use it as a glaze or put it on bacon- the uses are endless when you get creative with maple.
To learn more about our tasty national treasure join us at the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival. Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring now that the snow has melted and the sap is flowing! Enjoy live entertainment, demonstrations, face painting, wagon rides and axe throwing. There will be games, music, wood carving and more. Indulge in maple-inspired treats, a hot beverage by the fire and hot pancakes dripping with sweet golden syrup.
At Terra Cotta Conservation Area, festivities run throughout March Break and each weekend from March 10 until April 8. At Island Lake Conservation Area, festivities run on March 16, 17 and 24. Additional locations include Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area and Kortright Centre for Conservation. Buy your tickets online and receive unlimited general admission to all four festival locations. Admission is FREE for parks members!
For more information, visit www.maplesyrupfest.com.