Cold nights and warm days have sap running like a waterfall in Michigan!
We just discovered a super-cool newsreel about making maple syrup in the 1950s at the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan – click the pic to check it out!
As I sipped a glass of delicious Michigan Maple sap this morning, I realized that I can’t help but say a little bit more about sap and syrup and spring. Yesterday I blogged a photo to Michigan in Pictures that got me thinking about sap and how delicious a cold glass or two can be, and someone told me about a New York Times article about how South Koreans prefer drinking maple sap to making syrup.
The Michigan Maple Syrup Association has some great facts about Michigan maple syrup including:
- Michigan ranks 5th in maple syrup production in the United States.
- Average maple syrup production in Michigan is about 90,000 gallons per year.
- Economic contributions of the pure maple syrup industry to Michigan are nearly $2.5 million annually.
- There are an estimated 500 commercial maple syrup producers in Michigan with some 2,000 additional hobby or home use producers.
- The production of pure maple syrup is the oldest agricultural enterprise in the United States and maple syrup is one of the few agricultural crops in which demand exceeds supply.
- In an average year, each tap-hole will produce about 10 gallons of maple sap, enough for about a quart of pure Michigan maple syrup.
- It takes approximately 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
- The maple season in Michigan starts in February in the southern counties and runs well into April in the Upper Peninsula. The budding of maple trees makes the maple syrup taste bitter.
- Freezing and thawing temperatures create pressure and force the sap out of the tree.
- Maple syrup is classified as one of nature’s most healthful foods and has may minerals per tablespoon: 20 milligrams of calcium, 2 milligrams of phosphorus, 0.2 milligrams of iron, 2 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium.
- Michigan has a Maple Queen, who is selected each January and a Maple Syrup Week held in March of each year.
Michigan in Pictures has more about maple syrup including The Cycle of Sweetness: From Sap to Maple Syrup that takes you through the entire process of making maple syrup and you can also read a little about how Native Americans made maple sugar.
Absolute Michigan has lots of Michigan maple syrup stories and links, including this great video from the Mayfield Sugar Bush by Scott Allman we featured a few years ago, enjoy it and enjoy REAL syrup!