History of maple syrup

Legend has it… that it all started with a squirrel. Many centuries ago, during a period of famine, a Native American noticed a squirrel full of energy.

He watched the squirrel drink water from the maple tree and realised this was the source of the animal’s vitality. From then on, maple water started to be consumed as a fortifying drink.

Maple water was then re-discovered by Jacques Cartier, the same man who discovered Canada, between 1536 and 1542. Intrigued by a strange-looking tree, he decided to cut it down.

A large quantity of delicious, sweet maple water squirted from the tree. Cartier later found out the original native name for this tree was Couton.

Fit for a king…

Over the course of the 17th and 18th century, maple products continued to grow in popularity. Maple sugar-coated almonds were sent to the French King Louis IV by Montreal businesswoman Agathe de Repentigny, and became a greatly appreciated royal treat.

The first encyclopaedia…

In 1751, Denis Diderot, a French Renaissance philosopher, produced the first ever encyclopaedia. In it, he described maple products as ‘rare and high-quality delicacies’ that were also very healthy.

No longer by the gallon…

Over the course of the 19th century, a method of preserving maple syrup was developed. Shortly after, maple butter (100% maple) was created for the first time. Up to that point, maple syrup in Quebec was only available by the gallon; however the 19th century marked the appearance of the first 591ml can, which Quebec people still stock on their shelves today.

Four shades of maple…

In the second half of the 20th century, maple syrup became the most popular maple product available and started to appear in supermarkets. It now exists in four delicious grades, from Golden to Very Dark.

Today…

Canadian maple syrup and maple sugar are exported to 50 countries around the world. They are recognised by leading chefs as premier food products and are loved for their pure, natural origins, their amazing taste and documented health benefits.

Latest Recipes
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