With spring in the air, southern Quebec heads out in a sugar bush – some of the maple tree forests near by, in look out for one of the countless sugar shacks that produce maple syrup.
How is maple syrup made?
First signs of the warmer weather will make bushes and trees bud. That’s the time when sugar shack owners and maple syrup producers start checking if their neck of the woods is ready to insert spouts into the tree trunks, hang a bucket on to each one and drop by drop collect a watery liquid.
The full buckets filled with sweet liquid are emptied into large drums, then pulled back on the wagons to sugar shack where that liquid, called maple sap, is boiled down. As result, after all the water is evaporated from the maple tree sap, we end up with delicious syrup we use to sweeten crepes (grandma’s recipe) and pancakes with, or fruit salads, donuts or cakes.
Maple taffy or Tire Sur La Neige
In most of the sugar shacks, in March and April, you can see first hand all of the aspects of maple syrup production.
If winter does not disappoint as it did in 2010 around southern Quebec, and there is some fresh snow on the ground, then hot maple taffy is poured on snow to cool down, just to be scooped up with wooden sticks 30 seconds later. Some of the sugar shacks will have indoor ice bed if there is no snow.
There is no candy that can compare to this all natural sweet treat.
Most of the sugar shacks will have kitchen were are prepared traditional meals consisting of baked beans, ham, omelets, sausages, soups, bacon, and crepes made as dumplings beside some other deserts, all accompanied with plenty, you guessed it right, maple syrup.
Where to go?
Hope you’ll enjoy it as much we did!