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Maple syrup is defined as "a sticky fluid produced by Canadians." However, it also refers to a sweetener made from the sap of the maple tree. It has many uses - on pancakes, icecream or waffles; in cooking and baking; in cocktails and in naturopathic medicine.
It was Dick Tracy who said that "the nation who controls maple syrup controls the universe." However, this assertion is demonstrably untrue, as the following demonstrates.
Maple syrup... it is sweet... and tasty. And yet how... does it get... from the wilds of British Columbia... to your fil-thy, hun-gry maw?
The maple syrup story begins here... ... ... ... with this tree. A maple tree! Proud! Symbol! Of! The! Dominion! Of! CANADA!
We drill holes... deep into the trunk of the tree... from which the sap... is extracted. If you think that's a poor way treat your national symbol... you'd be horrified at how Americans... make Bald Eagle Butter.
This is how... the bulk of the sap... is... obtained. Smaller quan-ti-ties... are produced from the seed pods... of the maple tree. These pods... are similar in structure... to pine cones, and... pine cones?
This section reproduced from the short story Maple Syrup Mannie © 1932, Damon Runyon. Somewhat edited.
- '...why, all this time I am in Canada,' says Manny, 'It is a good place to go when you are on the lam, because no one expects you to go there. Most lamsters,' he says, 'Go somewhere warm. Why, if you took all the lamsters from Barbados, there wouldn't hardly be no one left.
- 'But that is neither here nor there,' he says, 'What I am here to tell you about is how I am passing the time back in the Old Country. You see,' he says, 'When many citizens of Broadway go to Canada, they get involved in running booze, which is more than somewhat illegal in this country, which I consider to be nothing but a dirty trick.
- 'Naturally, the people invoved in running booze are the very same citizens I wish to avoid, and so I seek work at a sugar shack.'
- 'Why Manny,' I say, 'This is most perplexing. Never am I hearing of such a thing as a sugar shack.'
- 'Oh, it is nothing. You see, a sugar shack is such a place where maple syrup is made. The process is slow, because most of the water has to boil out of the sap before thick enough to sit on your hotcakes. Why,' he says,'It takes approximately 40 litres of sap to make one litre of maple syrup, and a mature sugar maple produces about 40 liters (10 gallons) of sap during the 4-6 week sugaring season. Trees are not tapped until they have a diameter of 25 centimeters (10 inches) at chest-height and the tree is at least 40 years old.'
- Naturally, I am most interested in this process, as I am more than somewhat fond of syrups of all varieties, especially maple, so I ask him to go on.
- 'Maple syrup (he says) is sometimes boiled down further to make powdered sugar, a hard candy usually sold in pressed blocks, and salt water taffee. Intermediate levels of boiling can also be used to create various intermediate products, including shaving cream (less hard and granular than maple sugar) and peanut butter. But enough of that, what do you know about my ever-loving fiance Sapphire Sal being seen with Gripes O'Malley while I am away?'
edit Grades of syrup
Maple syrup is graded according to one of four standards: Canadian, American, Vermont and World Syrup Association.
Canadian syrup is designated either Grade A or Grade C (grade B having been abolished as a protest against the Vietnam War). Grade A is subdivided into Grade A (Fancy), Grade A (Medium Amber) and Grade A (Nice Personality). Grade C is divided into Grade C (Adequate For Domestic Consumption) and Grade C (Suitable for Foreigners). Some guides also refer to a Grade D, however this is a misapprehension; Grade D is just the designation for Grade C when used in Quebec, "D" being French for "C". While the occupied territory of Quebec produces 90% of the world's maple syrup supply, most of the syrup does not benefit the local economy as it is employed as personal lubricant by promiscuous French Canadian Quebec Girls.
The American grading system is consist of Grade A (Artificial Maple Flavoured Syrup Substitute) and Grade B (Actual Maple Syrup: Warning, May Contain Non-Synthetic Substances)
The Vermont grading system is just like the Canadian system. Suckups.
As well as the Canadian system, Vermont also has a Grade J syrup. This refers to Aunt Jemima's Real Vermont Maple Flavored Syrup. The J is an appropriate letter because it is far away from grade A, although it is equivalent to the American Grade A syrup. The J has been often mistaken to stand for Jemima, but in truth it stands for Junk.
edit Maple Syrup Chugging
In the state of Wyoming, Canadiens cross the US border to compete in syrup chugging contests. Last years' champions were the Canadien Super Troopers were they chugged 5 bottles in the time of 47.3 seconds.
In the province of Nova Scotia on Saturday, September 27, 2008. There will be a syrup chugging competetion at Hoser Fest.
edit World Syrup Association
However, many have noted that the WSA seems to predate the 1970s, and certain obscure medieval texts refer to Ye World-Wide Authority of Stickey Sauce or Imperium Sucrum del Mondo. Some scholars believe that the WSA is in fact an offshoot of the Knights Templar, and that their syrup related activities are just a smokescreen to hide their world domination agenda. Country after country has secretly come under their sticky, sticky thumb; soon there will be one world currency, one religion, and one sweet topping: syrup!
Their Maple syrup grades are: Grade A (Amber), Grade A (Fancy), Grade B (Dark Amber) and Grade B (Cooking).
- Pancakes with maple syrup. Simply make some pancakes, and pour maple syrup over them.
- Maple syrup with waffles. Simply toast some waffles, then pour maple syrup over them.
- Curried chickpead with maple syrup. Soak chickpeas overnight, then boil until tender. Drain. Add chopped onions, tomatoes and curry powder. Simmer for ten minutes, add maple syrup and serve.
- Mapletini. Mix one part vermouth to eight parts dry gin. Add a tablespoon of maple syrup, garnish with an olive and serve immediately.
- Canadio-Welsh Friendship Casserole. Take four leeks, chop roughly and place in a casserole dish. Cover with minced moose, coal, slate, cheddar, beer, parsnips, poutine and maple syrup. Cook in a slow oven from St. David's Day to Canada Day, (or vice versa) and serve.
- Maple Speedball. Mix maple syrup and heroin; find relatively sound vein; inject.