Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Sweet Trip to a Maple Sugar House

The next time you are eating pancakes with "real" maple syrup, ponder this fact---it takes 40 gallons of sap, yes, forty gallons, to make one gallon of syrup.

The image of sap, being extracted from a maple tree, shown to the left,  was snapped from a card in the gift shop of Gould's Sugar House in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. 

Whenever I see the cost of "real" maple syrup, it kind of makes me wince. However, when one considers the amount of sap that's needed to boil down to just one gallon, the high cost makes more sense. Producers also have to provide the wood used to keep the sap boiling.

No doubt about it, there is no comparison when it comes to "real" maple syrup versus the bottled product mixed with high fructose corn syrup.  The real tastes 100 times more delicious.

The information on the amount of sap needed to boil down into syrup came from Gould's.

The operation is open just four months of the year, with two of those used for maple syrup production.  When in full swing, Gould's makes up to 100 gallons of syrup a day.

The day we visited the sugar house, the equipment used to boil sap remained scrubbed clean and silent. The woman in the gift shop, however, let us peek inside to see what the operation looked like:

If maple syrup had been in production, the sweet, sugary scented scene would have looked like the image on this card, found in the giftshop:

March and April are the months for sugaring at Gould's. September and October it remains open to tourists who travel to New England in droves to see the spectacular foliage. (Sometimes, they are endearingly referred to as  leaf-peepers.)

Gould's has a little gift shop filled with all kinds of trinkets. It's always fun to peruse that kind of shop and buy a container of "real" syrup, of course.



Martha's Favorites said...

Hello Sister! Feels like we have not talked for years. I hope you had a great Easter. That shop looks like so much fun. I would have loved to go with you. How has your Ebay been going? It has been very slow for me these past two weeks. It just is starting to pick up again. I thought maybe it was tax time that everyone was feeling. Sending hugs, Martha

Chatty Crone said...

I have tried real maple syrup and love it - very expensive.
Love the 'leaf peepers' name.
Yet another fabulous place around you - and it's scented too.
It is raining cats and dogs here tonight.

mo said...

Hi Susan,

I love visiting places like this (last of a dying breed).

They have a passion for what they do and their products are top quality.

I love maple syrup.



T's Daily Treasures said...

Some times it definitely pays to have the real stuff. I don't do anything that has high fructose corn syrup. :/ I have a little bottle of maple syrup from Canada in a jar the shape of a maple leaf. Haven't broken it open yet. I think it is just pretty to look at. :) Have a terrific Tuesday. Tammy

Linda O'Connell said...

These establishments are one of the main attractions when I visit New England. NO! Now my mouth is watering for pancakes, but not after all that junk I've been eating for two days.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

We go to Parker's Maple Barn in Mason NH. to get our maple syrup. I know exactly what your talking about. You just can compare supermarket syrup to real maple syrup from a maple barn.

Bookie said...

We use little syrup here these days. But once we visited the Northeast corner and tasted real maple syrup,it is the only one we do use now.

One Heart (Marcia) said...

Oh, I sure have tried it and we keep some at home along with our regular artificial one. I remember the first time we tried it we were visiting Vermont back in 1988.

I'm still amazed at how we get so used to the bad and immitation that when we taste the good and genuine sometimes our minds confuse it to be the other way around. So typical of humanity. ;)

Thanks for stopping by my place, Susan. It's always so good to hear from you.

Have a blessed day!

diane stetson said...

Sure have tried it...but now since I'm so far away from Vermont I have Aunt Jemima LITE syrup...not anywhere near as good. Pancakes are my Saturday morning treat...I LOVE THEM.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I do love real maple syrup. I have some I keep in my pantry and use on french toast! Yum!

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

That is a whole lotta syrup they whip out. Looks fun! I love maple syrup.

Kathy said...

hello Susan, Syrup - LOVE IT! The closest we get to this is Cane Syrup - a festival is held nearby in November!
Could just smell the heavenly scent of Maple!

Diann said...

Hi Susan!
We are heading up to the Maple Festival in Sheperd Michigan this weekend. We have been going for a few years. I can't wait to have more fresh syrup!

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