When I think of March in Ohio maple syrup isn’t something that naturally comes to mind. However, it is just about that time of year that many Ohio-based syrup manufacturers begin gearing up for Maple Season. Most of them have been tapping trees since February.
The tradition goes back to the Native Americans. Early settlers observed that they would collect the sap and boil it down in hollowed out logs using hot stones to heat the sap . The science behind making maple syrup hasn’t changed much over the years.
Syrup can be made from any kind of maple; however the Sugar Maple is prized for its high sugar content. Small holes are drilled into the maple, usually about three, and the sap is collected in buckets and can then be rendered down into a variety of sugary, maple-y products.
The tapping doesn’t harm the trees as long as the number of taps is appropriate to the size and health of the plant.
Unlike its high fructose corn syrup based cousins, consuming real maple syrup may even include health benefits! The Ohio Maple Producers Association considers maple syrup is a “super food,” containing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
You can find out more about maple syrup production in Ohio and information about visiting a maple product producer near you at their website.