Monday, February 13, 2012

Tap Tap

You expect to see a lot of things in Westport; soccer moms in SUV's, toddlers with iphones, a few famous people speckled here and there but what I didnt expect was a South African making THE BEST maple syrup right in his backyard in the middle of winter. Have you ever tried to make maple syrup? It's not difficult, just tedious. For 10 gallons of sap, you wind up with only 2 little pints of syrup. First you have to tap your maple tree and wait a good five days to gather enough sap. Then you have to spend the entire day watching it boil down and maneuvering vats of scalding liquid all when there is an aisle full of maple syrup right down the block at Whole Foods. Obviously I thought this was going to be a waste of time. I didn't expect much  since I figured you had to at least grow up near Vermont to produce a decent batch. Well this South Afrcian knows what he's doing. The maple syrup was awesome. A little lighter, a bit less sweet with a hint of smoky flavor.  Definitely worth the effort and I should know by the amount of pancakes I eat! 

Collecting sap in a backyard in Westport, CT.

The first transferring of boiled sap to a smaller pot.

Watching and waiting for sap to boil down in the good ol' outdoors!

After a long day the sap has boiled down enough to be finished on the stove inside to control the heat more carefully (no one likes burned syrup).

And after a little while longer- Voila! Syrup!

With professional looking containers!

The South African Sap Tapper

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