What is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a product peculiar to North America and, more particularly, to Quebec. It is a natural product which contains neither colorants, nor additives and which is made from sugar maple sap (Acer saccharum). Maple water (sap) is made up of 97% water, sucrose, fructose and glucose. Amino acids, proteins, organic acids and proteins can also be found in variable quantities. From a technical point of view, maple syrup is defined by its sugar content, that is 66 degrees Brix*. Maple syrup is a unique product in terms of its nutritional elements, its health properties, and its taste and colour, which vary throughout the season. As the season progresses (5 weeks – April and May), the fructose and glucose content of the maple syrup rises, while its saccharose content falls slightly. As with the sugars, the content of the other natural elements present in the maple water also varies over the season (amino acids, minerals). These changes in the composition of the maple water bring with them changes to the colour and taste of the maple syrup. At the start of the season, the syrup is generally clear and the taste is slightly sweet (Extra-clear, Clear or Medium class syrup – AA, A or B). As the season progresses, it becomes darker and more caramelised (Amber or Dark class syrup – C or D). It must also be remembered that the quality of the syrup is not defined by these categories. The quality is determined by the terroir and know-how, exactly like wine. Maple syrup and its derivatives are an integral part of Quebecois culture. More than a simple traditional product, it is one of the cultural elements associated with the Quebecois and Canadians everywhere in the world. The basis for many traditional dishes, maple syrup remains one of the key ingredients of Quebecois and international cuisine in the 21st century. * Degrees Brix is the weight in grams of solids in 100 grams of a solution in distilled water. * source http://www.siropderable.ca