Taking a Closer Look at Syrup’s Origins

VERMONTVILLE—The Native Americans used to make maple syrup by heating up rocks on an open fire. When the rocks started to cool, the Native Americans replaced the rocks with hot ones. The steam from the rocks was enough to cook down the sap to make the syrup.

Early settlers learned how to boil sap from the Native Americans, but with updated technique. Until the Civil War, they boiled sap over an open fire, instead of heated rocks. Soon, the tin can was made, which was a very valuable invention to the sap collection. Instead of an iron kettle, they made the tin pans with sheet metal. Still, the syrup making process was long. In 1872, people greatly reduced boiling time with even more advances.

When they bent the bottom of the tin 17 years later, it increased the heated surface area. Many new technologies were invented during the 1970’s, which caused a major break through such as tubing systems so the sap came directly from the tree to the evaporator. Later, vacuum pumps were added to the tubing systems. Pre-heaters were invented to “recycle” heat that was lost in the steam. Reverse osmosis was developed to take portions of the water out of the sap even before it was boiled. Also, to remove the salt, surplus desalinization machines were obtained by many syrup producers.

Now, more maple syrup is produced every year.

Return to our “Learn More” page for more articles…

Michigan Maple Syrup Assocation

© 2019 Blair Miller ~ Site design by Blair Miller