Thursday, 26 March 2015

You Know Spring is Coming When It's Maple Syrup Fest Time

Maple Syrup is a Canadian stereotype I can get behind and while living in London I had to ask my parents to send me some proper stuff because, I'm sorry, but golden syrup is definitely not the same thing. 
As the weather begins to turn, let's be honest, less freezing and the snow begins to melt, you can feel spring in the air and the promise of long, sunny, hot days ahead. But before that time arrives it's just so exciting to be able to get out and not be at the risk of frostbite. On one of these days we decided a short drive out of town was in order to enjoy some county living and a maple syrup festival. (Take your pick of a handful places in and about the Toronto area). We opted for the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Fest at Terra Cotta, Ontario

The First Nation's Mythology goes a Native hunter was out tracking a deer in the forest. As he got close he threw his ax, missing the deer and sinking it deep into a maple tree. Sap began to drip out of the gash in the trunk and the hunter collected what he thought was water to bring home to his wife to use in the evening meal. The result was a sweet goodness which would become the syrup we Canadians enjoy today and consume by the gallons.

The traditional way to boil the water was to use a hollowed out log and put hot rock into the  liquid. Not a fast process.

The European settlers were taught how to tap the Maple trees and boil it down to maple sugar to use instead of the very expensive imported sugar cones.

The method hasn't changed too much, just the materials used to produce the end product. Stainless steel and propane tanks instead of open fires and cast iron pots.

The highlight of our visit was the maple taffy. Have you ever had this before? It's hot maple sap (past the point of making syrup but before it becomes maple butter or maple sugar) poured over clean, white snow and rolled onto a stick. It's soft and sweet and just lovely.

My mum has an incredible maple tooth (not a sweet tooth exactly. It's very specific.) Here she is blissing out over her (2nd) maple taffy.

Is it a wonder why Canadians love this stuff? Look at all the things you can get from maple syrup!

This was a maple syrup bottle I found at Fortnum and Mason, were I discovered Vermont was an 11th Province of Canada.

The festival runs on the weekends until April 6 (ish, depending on the weather). Check out the Sugarbush website for details.


  1. I keep meaning to do this, but still haven't...maybe next year!

  2. Yes, you should! Lovely, lovely maple straight from the source. After hockey, beavers, and eh, maple syrup is the most Canadian thing.

  3. I've never had maple taffy before, I don't think I can ever go back.

  4. I ended up going to one this weekend! It was awesome!


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