Sure, we put maple syrup on our pancakes, french toast and waffles but how much do we know about maple trees?
Turns out, they’re actually really interesting! We did some research on the history of maple, what’s actually in syrup and found some fascinating facts about our friend the maple tree.
Let’s start from the beginning – how was maple syrup first discovered?
Since sap from maple trees comes out like water, it was originally used to boil meat. This gave it a subtle, sweet flavor. Alternatively, sap was used to make maple sugar. People chose sugar over syrup because the maple sugar did not need to be kept cold.
Maple syrup is actually full of vitamins, minerals AND antioxidants
While there are 50 calories in one tablespoon, maple syrup also contains a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Pure maple syrup has calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B2, B5, niacin and folic acid. Plus, the antioxidant levels in it can be compared to a banana or a serving of broccoli!
What the color of syrup means
You might have noticed at the supermarket that certain maple syrups are darker than others. The darker the syrup, the deeper the flavor – keep that in mind next time you’re shopping! The color of the syrup can all depend on the location, the tree, the soil, water and even altitude.
Can you guess how old the oldest maple tree is?
If you said 500 years, you’d be right! That may seem crazy old, because it definitely is, but the average lifespan for maple trees is actually over 200 years. That being said, it takes about 40 years before a tree is mature enough to be tapped for sap.
But what about maple extract?
Fun fact: We use maple extract over maple syrup because of its intense flavor. Adding just a half a teaspoon of maple extract to our already delicious buttercream gives the perfect sweet, mapley flavor on top of our brand new Maple Pecan Cupcakes!