Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We have become big fans of Vermont Maple Syrup.  We hope to share it with our friends and family when we get home.  All we can say is "We have been converted!"  We have learned some things that were all new to us so I will share what we have learned. 

1.  It takes 40, I repeat, 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of REAL Maple Syrup.

2.  The sap production is all dependent on the temperature in the spring.  It has to be below freezing at night and above freezing in the day for the sap to run.  It usually runs for about 4-6 weeks. 

3.  Most of the producers use tubing that runs from tree to tree and to a central tank to collect the sap.

4.  Some still use the buckets that hang on trees, but they have to be emptied every day because the sap does not keep.

5.  The way to make syrup is to boil the sap.  It boils it down to syrup. 

6.  There are strict regulations in Vermont about the quality of the syrup.  The lightest is called Fancy and then there are grades down to C grade which is dark like we expect it to be.  I have tried all of the grades and actually prefer C.  Most of the grade C goes for commercial use for making things like baked beans and ham.  

7.  Probably the most shocking thing we have learned is how much it costs.  It is $60-$80 a gallon. 

These trees are along the road on our way to work

This is a very large tree and it can have 3 buckets on it

This is President Goodrich.  He is in the Missionary Presidency.  His sugar operation if one of the  3 largest in the state.  He produces 20,000 gallons of syrup a year.  This is the stainless steel "cooker" where the sap is boiled.  It was really huge.

Pres. Goodrich gave us a tour of his facility and also showed us some history of maple surgaring and some old  buckets and things that used to be used.  There were some photos that were very interesting.
Sister Goodrich fixed "Sugar on Snow"  for us.  It really is snow in the pans.  She cooks the syrup to 230 degrees and then pours small amount on the snow and it cooks and then your pick it up with a fork and eat it.  It is delicious.  It is very popular.  Everyone kept telling us about it so we were glad to taste it.  The surprising thing is that everyone that told us about Sugar on Snow said that it is served with pickles!!!!  and donuts.  Sounds good to me.

This is a "SAP SHACK" just down the hill from JSBM.  We  pass it every day on the way to work.  One day when we could see that they were Boiling we stopped and talked to the man.  He was more that happy to show us his operation.  He produces 200 gallons of syrup a year.  It was pretty down home compared to Pres. Goodrich, but he made some really good syrup.  I went back to the next day and bought some of what he was boiling that day.  
Albert Knudsen, the man we watched and then bought syrup from.

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