North America is the only place in the world where maple syrup is produced. There are 12 states in the United States that are producing syrup. Vermont is ranked #1, followed by New York, Maine, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
We know that Native Americans were the first to discover maple syrup. It is believed that it was discovered when the sap dripped from the cut maple branches. We have also heard theories that an ax was put in a tree and a bucket was placed underneath by accident, when the sap went into the bucket, they had mistaken it for water and began cooking with it. As it cooked they realized it was getting sweeter and sweeter and Voila! Maple syrup was discovered!
During the Great Depression, when cane sugar was not widely available, maple sugar was the preferred replacement. Many families took advantage of what nature had to offer by tapping trees and gathering sap from the maples that were available to them. Most families boiled the sap in a kettle over a big fire. They did this by continually adding sap to the kettle until they had syrup. A lot of hobby producers still make their own syrup by using this method.
Maple trees are tapped in the early spring when the temperature is below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. Sunny days are the best for getting the sap to run. The sap is then gathered, and the process begins to turn it into syrup. It takes 35 - 45 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, however, this is only an estimate depending on the types of maple trees and the sugar percentage in the sap. It can even take as many as 60 - 80 gallons of sap for one gallon. The season will continue until the weather changes and the trees begin to bud. Once the trees bud the sap is no longer good for syrup, even if the weather is still freezing nights and warm days. Any type of maple tree can be used to make syrup. The grades of syrup can be determined by the season, the early season usually produces light syrup, and the darker syrup comes as the season gets later; equipment failure can result in darker syrup as well.
All grades of maple syrup contain many health benefits. It contains beneficial nutrients including minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, vitamins B2, B5, and B6 - none of which are found in cane sugar. Pure maple is also considered good for the digestive and circulatory system. Maple syrup is 100% all natural, vegan & gluten free, and fits some diet profiles where sugar does not. Even though our maple syrup is not certified organic, there are no chemicals used at any point in the process of making our syrup. The difference between certified organic and non-organic maple syrup is paperwork. We do not spray our trees or use chemicals ever. Check out the links below to learn more about Pure Ohio Maple Syrup.