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Maine's Best Known Foods/Drinks (#2)

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Maine Maple Syrup:

From the time the first crow flies, usually in late February, to sometime in mid April, the sparkling clear “sweetwater” flows.

In a good year, one large tree may pour out as much as 60 gallons of sap without suffering any injury. It seems like a lot, until you realize that the sap will be reduced to about one and a half gallons of syrup.

Once it flows from the tree, the sap must be processed within a few hours or it will spoil, so syrup makers work round the clock once the spring run has started.

Much of the sap is still gathered the old-fashioned way, in buckets hung from trees, and boiled down to syrup over wood fires. Some of the larger producers have adopted labor-saving modern technology. They gather the sap with plastic tubing strung all the way from the trees to the sugar house.

From holding tanks which may hold as much as a thousand gallons, the freshly-collected sap, usually about three percent sugar, is fed continuously into the evaporator. There it is kept constantly boiling, throwing off dense clouds of steam as it becomes more and more concentrated. When the syrup reaches a temperature of seven degrees above the boiling point of water, the syrup maker knows the sugar-density is just right. Immediately, the finished syrup is filtered to remove particles of “sugar sand.” These, though harmless, would turn the syrup cloudy. Once properly clear, the finished syrup is packed in sterilized containers and sealed, ready to be distributed and enjoyed around the world.

The state makes more than 575,000 gallons of syrup annually, generating more than $27 million for the Maine economy and supporting more than 560 full-time and part-time jobs that generate more than $17.3 million in wages.

Once it flows from the tree, the sap must be processed within a few hours or it will spoil, so syrup makers work round the clock once the spring run has started.

Maine Maple Sunday Weekend® attracts thousands of visitors annually to sugar shacks throughout the state. In previous years, more than 100 sugarhouses have participated from Aroostook to York County.

The MMPA represents more than 250 producers licensed to sell maple products in Maine. Producers range from small artisan producers to bulk syrup providers that serve major grocery store chains, foodservice distributors, retailers and international markets.
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BACKin15

You are absolutely right @humminbirdlvr 🙂

humminbirdlvr

There's nothing better than some hot pancakes drizzles with maple syrup from Maine!!!

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