Maple syrup was first collected and used by the native Americans and the practice was adopted by European settlers.
Several studies have found that maple syrup is a good source of antioxidants. Studies found 24 different antioxidant substances in maple syrup.
Dark vs. Light Maple Syrup. What is the difference?
There is many factors that can affect the color or grade of syrup. One thing for sure it is tough to make light syrup while medium and dark seem to make up the bulk of annual syrup production. Dark does NOT mean "less refined" Factors such as length of season, sap quality and length of boiling time to name a few. We can easily change the color grade of our syrup by leaving it in the bottler for extended periods of time but for us lighter is better.
Wood Fired vs. Gas Evaporators
We have heard some say they like the smokey flavor that comes from wood fire. The heat source has nothing to do with the flavor of Maple Syrup. No smoke enters the cooking areas! As a matter of fact the constant rising steam from the boiling sap on the syrup pans would make this theory of smokey syrup highly questionable! With that being said we do use a wood fired evaporator and can attest that while a nice wood fire conjures images of a sweet treat it has nothing to do with the overall flavor.
Maple syrup is made from the xylem sap of the sugar or red maple trees. In cold climates trees store starches in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.