steam rising from the sugar house
Steam billows from the roof of the sugar house.

We stopped at a sugar house, during our recent trip through New England, to watch the process of making maple syrup.

An old fashioned can of maple syrup
An old fashioned can of maple syrup. Nowadays they use plastic bottles.

Syrup makers must wait until the weather conditions are just right to begin. During the transition between winter and spring, there is a sweet spot when the days are warm but the night temperatures get close to or below freezing. It’s at this point, when the sap is running, as they say, that it’s time to make syrup.

Trees are tapped, and sap drips out into buckets or, in more sophisticated operations, into a sap line, which is plastic tubing that runs from a tap down to a collection container. The sap is gathered and then fed through a series of boilers and filters before it is bottled.

Sap is pumped up to the vat near the ceiling, then gravity brings it down through the various stages of the evaporation process.
Sap is pumped up to the vat near the ceiling, then gravity brings it down through the stages of the evaporation process.

Steam evaporates, perfuming the air with the sweet scent of what is yet to come. No additives, no fillers, just the boiled-down essence of the generous maple trees that is collected during a short window of time each year. Pancakes, French toast, baked goods, rejoice! More syrup is on the way.

Steam rising from boiling sap in sugar house maple syrup
Steam rising from boiling sap

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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