Deep Mountain Maple Syrup

During my visit to New York City in 2011, I met a maple syrup producer, Stephan Cantor, who runs Vermont-based Deep Mountain Maple with her husband Howie. She told me the ‘tree to bottle’ story of how maple syrup is produced. Here is a picture of her stall at Union Square Greenmarket, New York City.

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple trees (Acer Saccharum) that are grown in Canada and in the North Eastern states of the United States.  Sugar maple trees, as their name suggests, have especially sweet sap compared with other varieties of maple trees, which makes them perfect for producing delicious maple syrup.

Maple syrup production is a labour intensive process that involves boiling, reducing and evaporating away the water content of harvested sap (which is 1.5-2% sugar), to transform it into the final syrup product.  Stephan told me that it takes a staggering 40-50 gallons of maple tree sap to produce every gallon of maple syrup.

Deep Mountain Maple pride themselves on using traditional production techniques, such as boiling sap on fires fuelled by wood from the clearing and maintaining the maple forest.  Stephan describes maple syrup as being ‘the ultimate slow food’ that is produced via ‘a beautiful agricultural cycle’.

As well as selling a wide variety of grades of maple syrup, Deep Mountain Maple also produce maple candy, maple sugar and a spreadable maple cream.  Here is a picture of their moreish maple candy to whet your appetite.
Interviewing Stephan really gave me food for thought, and increased my love and respect for maple syrup. I hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

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