Canada is known for its beautiful maple trees. The maple leaf is on our national flag and represents our country. It is no surprise, then, that maple syrup is a Canadian specialty. The delicious amber liquid, packaged in an eye-catching maple leaf-shaped glass bottle makes a unique gift. Not quite as sweet as sugar, it is lovely when eaten with crepes, waffles or pancakes. You can also use it instead of sugar when preparing certain dishes.
Maple trees must be a certain age, around 30-40 years old, before they can be tapped for sap. After the sap is collected, it is boiled down to make syrup and then graded, depending on its transparency and colour. According to maplesyrupworld.com, Canadian Classification grades include extra light, light, medium, amber and dark. In early March, you will have a chance to participate in maple syrup festivals. Some places you can visit in southern Ontario are Bronte Creek’s Annual Maple Syrup Festival, Elmira Syrup Festival or Terra Cotta Conservation Area. In some places, you can also witness syrup production. For many people, attending these festivals is an annual tradition. For those who are new to Canada, it is an interesting way to learn about a sweet aspect of the country’s culture.
According to maplesyrupworld.com, Canadian Classification grades include:
No.1 extra light
Light transmission is more than 75% with a subtle taste and the color is slightly golden with a very mild and delicate maple flavour.
Light transmission is between 60.5% and 74% with a subtle taste and the color is golden with a mild and sweet maple flavour.
No.1 MediumLight transmission is between 44% and 60.4% with a typical maple taste and the color is amber with a mild and sweet maple flavour. This is the typical maple syrup used on pancakes, cooking, etc.
Light transmission is between 27% and 43.9% with a strong and pronounced maple taste. The color is dark. This maple syrup taste is too bold to use as normal table maple syrup but can be used for cooking and baking.
Light transmission is less than 26.9% with a full-flavored, slightly caramelized maple syrup taste. It is only used as commercial ingredients and the color is very dark.
Notable festivals you can participate:
- Island Lake,
March 15, 16 & 23, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Elmira Syrup Festival,
April 6, 2019 – 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Terra Cotta Conservation Area,
Weekends March 9 – April 7, 2019, and March Break (March 11 – 15), 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
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