Native American: Maple Sugar

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Maple Sugaring References

Steps to Making Maple Syrup



Steps to Making Maple Syrup

1. Choose a spot on your maple tree that is approximately 2 to 4 inches from the ground. Make sure this spot is solid. 

2.  Drill a hole about 2 inches deep into the tree and insert a collection spout. Place a bucket under the spout to catch the sap. 

3.  Place the sap in a shallow pan and heat to the boiling point. Be careful not to burn the sap. If you have any remaining sap that did not fit  in the pan, you may add it as the sap evaporates. Continue boiling until the sap in the pan is highly concentrated. 

4.  Skim the surface for foam and other materials as the sap boils. 

5.  Monitor the temperature. The maple syrup is done when the temperature reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, which is dependent on your elevation.

 6.  Filter the hot maple syrup through a wool or orlon filter to remove particles such as sugar sand. This will also improve the syrup's appearance. 

7.  Package the maple syrup while it is still at least 180 degrees to prevent spoilage.

Maple Sugaring


Native American Legend about Maple Syrup

One day in early spring, an Indian chief came home from a long day of hunting and stuck his tomahawk in one of the trees outside his longhouse, as he did every night. Now being that maple trees are very abundant in his area, this happened to be a maple.

The next morning the chief woke and left for another hunt, taking his tomahawk from the tree. It just happened that there was a bowl sitting at the base of this tree, directly under the gash made by the chief's tomahawk. As the warm spring sun shone on the maple tree, the sap began to run out of the gash, down the trunk, and dripped into the bowl. As evening approached, the chief's daughter began to prepare dinner. She needed a pail of water to boil dinner in though. As she walked past the tree on her way down to the creek, she noticed the bowl full of "water" sitting by the tree. Rather than walk all the way to the creek, the chief's daughter decided to use this "water." As the dinner boiled, the "water" boiled away, and by the time dinner was done, the "water", which was actually maple sap, had boiled down to the first maple syrup. With a little experimenting, the chief and his daughter discovered how and when to make this new all natural sweetener. From that point on, maple syrup became an important part of the Native American's diet.

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The Auginash Maple Sugar Camp 2008

Students Learn about Maple Sugaring

Lac du Flambeau Students enjoy the entire maple sugaring process.  They assisted in collecting the syrup, cooking it and the best part was EATING it - Yummy!