The History of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is the staple for a good pancake of waffle breakfast. It turns out that this sweet, gooey syrup actually has quite an interesting history. There are Native American stories about how Chief Woksis discovered the syrup by accident when he threw a tomahawk at a maple tree, causing the syrup to seep out when the sun warmed the tree. Eventually, Indigenous people started using the syrup for many different things, including cooking meat and making maple sugar. Later, when the European colonies settled in areas with maple trees, they observed the processed of the Indigenous people and began replicating them. There is a story that It is a group of explorers, with a man named Jacques Cartier among them, found a walnut tree in Quebec and decided to cut it down. To their surprise, a rich, thick syrup seeped out of the tree, which they decided to taste. The ended up loving the syrup so much that they compared it to a really good-tasting wine. Though this was not the discovery of maple syrup, it is a popular story. There was no talk of maple again until 1606, when a lawyer and writer travelled to witness the process of gathering the syrup from the trees. As the demand for general sweetness increased in the 17th and 18th century, word about maple syrup started expanding, leading to its export to France. The method in which maple syrup if gathered was first documented in 1708 in Acadia. It detailed the process of creating a hole in the tree using an axe and inserting a sort of nozzle to let the syrup pour out. Around this time, the first documentation of the process of making maple sugar also came out. During the 1800s, maple farmers became more efficient and developed new techniques to harvesting the syrup. They replaced the axe with a drill and the wood buckets with iron ones. Though maple syrup was popular, scientists did not discover how to preserve it until the 1950s, which is when its popularity skyrocketed and it started being sold in cans and bottles like it is today!