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.
HAVE YOU TRIED "REAL" MAPLE SYRUP? LIKE IT?