By Habeeb Salloum
On our ‘Tap into Maple Route’ tour located in Ontario’s Lake Country, we stopped at Shaw’s Maple Syrup and Sugar Bush, a plantation of maple trees. Here we were shown the old method of sap dripping into buckets, a slow and tedious process. The owner, Tom, who was also our guide, led us to an adjacent area of maple trees where a tubing system to collect sap, as he explained, was now the norm. It appeared to me that what we were witnessing was a near revolution in maple syrup production technology. These tapped trees are linked by a system of connected plastic tubing that transports the sap from the trees to tanks where it is stored for evaporating. The end product remains natural pure syrup without any chemical agents or preservatives.
At the point where the sap is collected we stopped to listen to Tom relate the story of maple syrup and its attributes. It was apparent that maple syrup and its many drawing cards was an integral part of his life.
Leaving Tom’s Maple Syrup Bush behind I thought of the boiling sap – called by some of its fans ‘liquid gold’. Canada’s epitome of tourist-take-home-souvenir, this sweet is sold in every type of packaging and endless forms.
This day we planned to visit a number of outlets selling these products. From among these goodies ‘maple syrup muffins.
This is my version of the muffins that we enjoyed that day.