Hey, Syrup Connoisseurs!
Today we’re celebrating syrup (Maple Syrup to be specific) because today just so happens to be National Maple Syrup Day! If you’re wondering why the rest of the world doesn’t celebrate National Maple Syrup Day, it’s because maple syrup is a treat exclusive to the North American continent. Canada is North America’s largest maple syrup supplier. Every year, Canada produces more than five million gallons! They celebrate Maple Syrup Day too.
Sap from maple trees was first harvested and boiled into syrup by the Native Americans. When settlers first came to America in the early 1600s, they were shown the process of making maple syrup.
The process is actually rather simple and doesn’t do any permanent damage to the tree. Also, only one-tenth of sap that a Maple tree produces in a year actually ends up harvested. In fact, there are a good amount of maple trees that have been tapped repeatedly for the last 150 years. It’s a good thing that tapping trees does no long term damage to them; it takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.
What’s truly amazing about this particular syrup is that it contains surprising health benefits. It may be loaded with sugar (natural sugar which your body needs), but it’s also loaded with antioxidants. In a single quarter-cup of maple syrup is the same amount of antioxidants as a raw tomato or broccoli bunch. A cup of maple syrup contains just as much calcium as a cup of milk and even more potassium than what’s found in a banana!
The trick nowadays is to find real maple syrup as opposed to Aunt Jemima or some other brand-name syrups that can be found in any grocery store. Otherwise, you could get rather ambitious and tap your own maple tree! What better way to celebrate National Maple Syrup Day than making your own?
Tapping a tree is easier than you might think. I found this great instructional Web site while researching the topic.