Maple Syrup Click here for our slide show

History of Maple Syrup

Legend has it that Native Americans discovered that sap from maple trees could be processed into maple syrup, when a tomahawk was hurled into a tree and sap began to flow. the clear liquid was put in a container and taken home. Later it was mistaken for water and used in venison preparation. It was found to be delicious and after retracing how this occurred, they realized they had used the maple sap.

Maple Season

In Northern Minnesota the normal maple season runs 4 to 6 weeks, generally in the months of March and April. Production varies annually with weather playing a key role. Sap starts to flow when temperatures rise above the freezing point during the day and drop below it at night. A suitable temperature cycle of above and below freezing must continue for the "run" to be underway.

Collecting the Sap

Depending upon the size of a tree, it can have up to four taps. The sap runs from each tree through a tubing system. A pump is used to create a partial vacuum in the lines, which brings the sap to the pump house where it is kept in a storage tank until it can go through the evaporation process.

From Sap to Syrup

The evaporator is a stainless steel pan 4 feet wide by 12 feet long. Cold sap enters at one end and exits as syrup at the other end. Through the evaporation process, the sap is concentrated from 2% sugar to 67%. The color and flavor develop as a result of chemical reactions from the length of heating. The long sap is boiled, the darker it becomes. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. Maple syrup is drawn out of the evaporator when the syrup reaches 7.5 degrees above the boiling point.

Maple syrup can be stored at room temperature, however once it is opened, it should be refrigerated. For longer storage, keep your syrup in a cool, dark place.

Maple Syrup Grades

Mape Syrup is graded according to color. The lighter the syrup, the higher the grade. Color and flavor are a matter of preference.

Grade A

  • Light Amber - light in color, delicate maple flavor due to an increase in sugar associated with cold temperatures, first syrup of the season
  • Medium Amber - more color and flavor, produced in mid-season, most popular grade
  • Dark Amber - darker in color, stronger robust flavor as a result of a decrease in sugar in the tree and warmer temperatures, produced in late season

Grade B

  • Dark color, a sharper maple flavor. Used in cooking/baking

Maple Syrup Uses

  • In Your Favorite Beverage - Milk, Milkshakes, Coffee, Tea
  • Hot or Cold Cereals
  • Jams, Sauces, Jellies
  • On Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast, Lefse, Crescent Rolls
  • Baking - in your favorite bread, cookie, pie recipe
  • Over Salmon, Halibut or any other favorite meat


During the evaporation process, the only thing that has been removed from our pure maple syrup is water. the vitamins and minerals remain. There are no additives or preservatives, making it 100% natural.

  • Vitamins - B2 Riboflavin, B5 Pantothenic Acid, B6 Pyridoxine, PP Niacin, Folic Acid
  • Minerals - calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron
  • Sugars - sucrose is the main sugar in Maple Syrup

Caloric Value

Maple Syrup 40 calories / Tbsp
Molasses 40 calories / Tbsp
Honey 45 calories / Tbsp
Corn Syrup 60 calories / Tbsp



Sap Lines

Tubing Lines

David in Sugar Shack

David stationed at the evaporator boiling sap


Hot Syrup

Fresh, hot maple syrup


Sugar Shack 1

The Sugar Shack


Maple Leaves

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 4 Tbsp 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
    % Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 18%
Sugars 53g  
Protein 0g 0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Potassium 150mg, Calcium 8%, Iron 8%

Maple Syrup Resources

Learn more about the forest patterns of Northern Minnesota at UM forestry site