vermont produces of the finest maple syrup in the world. this natural delicacy is
produced under standards of quality developed over the years by sugarmakers in
conjunction with the vermont legislature. the vermont maple law prohibits the use
of additives or preservatives, and assures absolute purity. vermont is the largest
producer of maple syrup in the us, producing about 37% of the total u.s. crop each
year. every county in vermont produces maple syrup, with an estimated 2,000 maple
producers in the state. in 2000, those producers made an estimated 460,000 gallons
of maple syrup, with a value of approximately $13,340,000. known as vermont's
liquid gold, pure vermont maple syrup is the best syrup you'll find anywhere.
generations. an air of romance associated with this long established industry
calls back people each year to hear the roar of the raging fire, to inhale the
sweet aroma of the boiling syrup, and to enjoy the unmatched flavor of pure
vermont maple syrup. forty years are required to grow a maple tree large enough to
tap. a tree ten inches in diameter is considered minimum tappable size for one
tap. for each additional six inches in diameter, another bucket (tap) may be
added. it takes 4-5 taps to produce enough maple sap (40 gallons) to produce one
gallon of syrup. the normal maple season lasts 4 to 6 weeks, sometimes starting as
early as february in southern vermont and lasting into late april in northern
vermont has a strictly enforced maple grading law controlling standards of
density, flavor and color. the grade of maple syrup must be plainly and correctly
marked on each container, along with the name and address of the producer.
vermont's law requires syrup to be free from any preservatives or other additives.
pure vermont maple syrup is an excellent source of organic sugar. vermont maple
syrup is made into pure maple sugar, maple cream and maple candies by evaporating
more water from pure maple syrup and controlling the crystallization process
maple syrup is made from maple sap, collected from sugar maple trees in late
winter and early spring. the sap is a very dilute liquid containing from 1% to 7%
sugar, varying from tree to tree and averaging around 2% sugar. a 7/16 inch hole
is drilled into the tree to a depth of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. into this is driven
a spout, modified pieces of pipe from which a bucket is hung or pipeline is run.
the pipeline carries the sap directly from the tree to the storage tank. to make
quality maple products, the sap must be fresh and cold, which means it must be
gathered and boiled often. in modern sugar orchards, small plastic tubing is
attached directly to the spouts, which then flows through small plastic tubes to
larger pipes directly to the storage tank, saving the labor of gathering the sap.
other sugarmakers use large gathering tanks which are pulled by tractors or horses
through the woods to the sugarhouse and emptied into an elevated storage tank to
await boiling. from storage tanks the sap flows to the evaporator, large pans
varying in size, usually about 5 feet wide to 16 feet long. evaporators have two
pans - the flue pan and the syrup pan. the sap flows first to the flue pan, which
has a bottom made of flues to provide a greater heating surface, and then to the
flat bottomed syrup pan. the pans are divided by partitions, which creates a
continual but very slow movement of sap from the point where it enters the
evaporator around the many partitions and finally out as syrup.
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