4/03/2007

SUGAR SHACKS AND SUGARING OFF IN QUEBEC

bucket for maple syrup maple syrup sugaring
maple toffee

maple syrup on ice




Spring is in the air! The days grow a little longer, the sun is a little warmer, and the snow is starting to melt. Soon the trees will be in bud and the birds will be winging their way back north. Nights are still cold, though, and conditions are perfect for the maple sap to rise.

It's a seasonal ritual in Québec. As soon as the moon is right, or the wind from the southwest blows a certain way, the maple syrup producers head into the sugar bush and begin tapping their trees. The buckets fill with a sweetish, watery liquid that will be boiled down to make the delicately flavoured syrup everyone loves on pancakes.

The syrup starts as a watery sap that's collected drop by drop by little spouts inserted directly into the tree trunk. Originally, buckets were hung from the spouts; as they filled, they would be emptied into huge barrels carted through the forest on horse-drawn sleds. Today, most modern operations use an ingenious system of plastic piping that siphons the sap into an evaporator, where the water is boiled away. Absolutely nothing is added to the precious nectar. It takes about 40 litres of sap to make one litre of pure syrup, but the delicious golden liquid is well worth the trouble.

There are many maple syrup operations not far from Québec's major cities, and all welcome visitors at sugaring off time. In addition to featuring lots of hearty food, the "cabane à sucre" recreates the spirit of earlier times with traditional music, dancing and merrymaking.

Sugaring off time is the perfect occasion for a sleigh ride, a tromp through the woods or a stop at one of Québec's famous maple festivals.

3 comments:

ghee said...

nice and interesting pics,Eden!akala ko kung ano yung bucket sa puno,syrup pala ang nasa loob nung trunk?

may holy week din ba kayo jan?
have a nice holy wed!
regards!!
btw,nag post ako ng pics nyo,sana ok lang na sinama ko ang pic mo :)

ghee said...

waaahhh,chineck ko ngayon yung post ko,wala ka yata dun?ang alam ko,nag sent din ako ng pic mo kay Tikey,sha kasi ang gumawa nun...hmmm..

anyways,bawi na lang ako next post ko,okay?

eden said...

hello ghee- confused ka na sa dami ng friends sa blogosphere ano? ok lang yun kahit wala ako pix :)ang mahalaga one year kana blogging!

tnx for the visit and comments !
ingat lagi :0)