Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

maple syrup and maple sugar specialities of the east of Canada (predominantly Quebec) and the north-east of the USA, are both produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees, notably the N. American sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and the black maple (A. nigrum). The process produces syrup first, while the sugar needs further boiling down. Up to the latter part of the 19th century, the sugar was the primary product. However, with the introduction of cheap cane sugar, demand switched to the syrup and is now almost exclusively for it. These sequences may be somewhat obscured by the traditional terminology in which ‘sugar’, ‘sugar-tree’, ‘sugar-house’, and ‘sugaring off’ are all terms which have tended to be applied to production of both syrup and sugar. Canada produces 95 per cent of the world output.