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Published on: Dec. 28, 2010

into sugar at a much quicker rate. As pure sap began to change consistency in the first kettle, it was then ladled into the second kettle and fresh sap was added back into the first kettle. In this way, they always had the last kettle full of nearly completed sugar.

Additionally, metal taps were invented in 1860, which allowed a small hole to be drilled into the tree. This proved to yield higher amounts of sap by directing the flow straight into buckets, instead of running down a tree.

By 1858, flat-bottom pans were found to be more efficient in the evaporation process, which led away from the use of the three-kettle system. Though they did not know that they were practicing better conservation, the use of these new resources forged better yields and better management of the natural resources.

Better conservation practices became important as more and more people began making their own maple sugar. Cane sugar was too expensive for most people to buy due to a tax placed on it; therefore, maple sugar was a desired commodity. Many colonists made far more maple sugar than they could use themselves, sometimes as much as 1,000 pounds per family. This excess was valuable to the early settlers as it provided some income or could be traded at local stores for other food and supplies.

Shortly before 1890, the import tax on white cane sugar was removed, and this sugar became cheaper to purchase than maple sugar and soon outsold it. As the demand for maple sugar decreased, the maple industry was forced to change.

Sugar to Syrups

Making maple sugar was no longer profitable, so sugar farmers started making maple syrup instead. From 1890 to 1950, maple syrup was the primary product produced by sugar farmers. With the advances in technology by the 1950s, however, scientists mastered the art of making sugar from corn, and shortly thereafter created high fructose corn syrup. It wasn’t long before new corn-based, waffle syrups were produced. These products were artificially colored and flavored to mimic real maple syrup and were much cheaper to purchase. This holds true even today.

Soon the sale of maple-flavored corn syrups surpassed the sale of real maple syrup and sugar farmers were again forced to change what they produced. Maple producers now have capitalized on the market by creating additional maple products, such as maple butter and candies,

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