Happy Canadian Maple Syrup Day!
The Native Americans in North America were the first people to discover maple syrup in Eastern Canada. The discovery of maple syrup was an accident. It is thought a pot was left under a broken maple tree, which caused the sap too fall into the pot, then turn to Maple Syrup when boiled. It is also thought it was discovered when a knife was thrown into a maple tree and sap began oozing out. Neither theory is confirmed, but it has been settled that it is one of those.
Maple sugar was used as a sweetener and a medicine by First Nation settlers. The first sugar makers cut a ‘V’ shaped gash in the tree, let a trough under the cut and allowed the trees sap to fall into the bucket. It was then boiled in a hollowed out log, heated by hot stones beneath it. The early sugar makers would drill a hole in the tree in spring and place a wooden bucket beneath the hole. One the bucket was full, it is brought to a sugar factory in the woods. Maple sap produced a sweet brown sugar and was widely used as white sugar was rare and a luxury.
Due to lack of airtight containers most maple sap was manufactured into sugar rather than syrup. Maple syrup dates back to earlier than European settlers in the United Sates. Although there is no account of how the first maple syrup was produced, it is thought it replaced water while cooking venison to be served to a chief.