The harvesting and production of maple syrup is part of the tradition of our country, a cherished tradition that I wish to pass on to future generations.
Look at our Canadian flag with the sugar maple leaf in the centre. It’s the most beautiful flag in the world. What a great way to pay tribute to these First Nations people! They knew how to observe nature to discover a precious liquid. They gave us their knowledge to harvest the sap of the sugar maple and turn it into a delicious golden syrup. This is another way to salute this beautiful, rich, royal and generous nature.
As I travel, I realize that I am carrying part of this tradition. For me, this bar of maple taffy does not represent a simple piece of wood. It conveys a delicious happiness, a traditional story and an ancestral culture that I savour every spring, year in year out. I feel blessed to belong to this culture and to perpetuate this know-how of my country, Canada.
The Maple Man's maple syrup is made at his maple grove in Sainte-Marie de Beauce (in Quebec's Saint-Ange region), approximately 45 minutes from Quebec City, Quebec's capital. The maple grove has about 2500 trees. The maple sap is brought to a boil in stainless steel pans placed on a wood fire.
The Maple Man highlights ancestral techniques in order to transform his maple syrup into a high-quality and well-regarded product. To this end, sap is collected in buckets, which are carried to the sugar shack by horse. Then, according to ancestral methods, the sap is slowly brought to a boil over a maple wood fire. This work retains a natural rhythm since no industrial machinery nor any high-technology tools are used in the transformation of the sap.
La Grande Coulée's maple syrup is therefore a 100 % organic product. No preservatives have been added.
Once it hits the snow, the hot liquid cools, instantly hardens and creates a delicacy that is eaten as is with a spoon, a small wooden palette or a little stick! Voilà! Any kid with a sweet tooth can savour the pleasures of maple taffy !
In fact, the starch reserves become concentrated during the summer months, which leads to the run the following spring. A good freezing at night stops the sap from running; followed by a temperature of a few degrees above zero, those are the two necessary conditions for an abundant run.
The complete contents of a sheet or of a saucepan of syrup transferred into a barrel is called a draw off ; this generally yields between five and eight gallons of maple syrup.