Nothing like a Sunday morning enjoying some homemade pancakes with the Maple Syrup I picked up last weekend from my visit to Snyder Farms.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit my first sugarbush. I went up to Snyder Heritage Farms in Bloomingdale, ON to witness first hand how maple syrup was made!
It’s really a “tree to table” experience. The whole process happens right there on the farm. The maple trees are next to the sugar house where the sap gets transported to and then converted into syrup and packaged.
You can’t get more local or real than that!
As you are driving up to the farm, you see the maple tree forest along the road. Take a closer look and you notice that every tree has a bucket hanging from it to collect the sap from the tree.
Tapping the tree is where the creation of Maple Syrup begins!
The tour at Snyder started at the farm where a wagon took you to the maple tree forest to see the tapped trees. Here I saw how the sap was collected from the trees, which would be taken back to the storage tanks at the sugar house to wait for the reverse osmosis process to begin.
Next on the tour was the sugar house. There was a lot going on in this small space; just three little rooms to made this whole operation work! It was fascinating to see the stages of making maple syrup and learning about some of the best practices Snyder Farm use.
At Snyder they use the wood from their forest to cook the sap (no fuel oil is used) and they use a reverse osmosis machine to remove water before cooking, which saves energy consumption by 50% or more.
It takes 40L of sap to make 1L of Maple Syrup, so reducing the water content of the sap minimizes the time and energy required to cook the sap.
The sap is ready once it reaches a temperature of 217 then the syrup is pumped through the maple syrup filter press where it cleans up the syrup of the “sugar sand,” a gives it its clear color.
The syrup then makes its way to the packaging room where the syrup is package and graded and placed on the table.
Then of course I went on to try all the different grades of Maple Syrup; from Golden to Amber to Dark to Very Dark, all of them were delicious!
Though I had to say that the Golden syrup was my favourite! Light and full of sweetness!
I hear it’s Kevin Snyder’s favourite too.
I ended up going home with a Golden, an Amber, and a Very Dark Maple Syrup, couldn't decide! I’ll be using the Golden one for pancakes and the very dark for cooking.
BONUS! Sourdough Pancake Recipe
I think this is the best pancake recipe ever, specially for sourdough bread bakers. If you haven't tried Maurizio 's Sourdough Starter Pancakes recipe then you are missing out!
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk, optional yogurt, sourdough starter and optional vanilla. Stir to incorporate.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add dry mix to the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in melted butter. Wait about 30 minutes to let your sourdough starter get going just a bit.
Lightly grease a smokin’ hot griddle. Drop the batter onto the griddle and cook until light brown and bubbles start to appear on top, then flip to cook the other side. Refrain from flipping multiple times.
You might need to adjust the amount of milk depending on the stiffness of your sourdough starter and your preferred batter consistency. The above ingredients work well for my liquid starter, if you’re using a stiff starter you might want to add around 1/2 cup more milk.