Iowa is not generally thought of as a hot-bed of maple syrup production, but it does have a few commercial producers across the state.
The sap-collection season is relatively short, starting around late February or early March and lasting for roughly three weeks. At the beginning of the season, sap flowing from taps is lighter and milder and as the weather warms and the season progresses, becomes darker and takes on a more caramel-y, rich maple flavor.
Pure maple syrup is produced from the sap of maple trees –– either sugar maple, black maple, silver maple or boxelder trees that are at least ten inches in diameter. On average, sap from maple trees is around 2 percent sugar while maple syrup is approximately 66 percent sugar. Sugar content of sap can vary widely from tree to tree and season to season, but maple sap at 2 percent sugar content requires 43 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of syrup. This explains the higher price tag of pure maple syrup when compared to pancake syrup.
Pure maple syrup is made by boiling down sap which evaporates much of the water content and concentrates the flavor and sweetness. Pancake syrup is usually made from corn syrup and flavorings to make it taste more like maple syrup.
Local Taps Great River Maple
Golding’s Sweet Maple Farms
563-567-8472 or 563-380-5132