Every spring we look forward to the longer, sunnier, warmer days that melt the snow and bring the lakes, rivers and streams back to life at our Algonquin Park home. In addition to the waters that flow on the land, maple sap flows up the trees to provide nutrients to the stems that will produce buds, leaves and flowers. In northern Ontario many people tap the trees to collect a portion of the sap from large healthy maple trees. The sap is then boiled so the sap gradually becomes thicker and thicker, eventually becoming maple syrup. Each tree in our forest at the Edge of Algonquin Park produces about 33 litres of sap per tap, which is boiled down to about 1 litre of maple syrup.
We use our maple syrup in a variety of ways in the kitchen at Northern Edge Algonquin. It’s not just a great topping for pancakes. We brine chicken and ham in the syrup and occasionally produce roasted vegatables flavoured in maple, we make salad dressings, desserts, and even maple teas!
This past week, we hosted a handful of travel writers who enjoyed a Taste of Maple – a culinary adventure with us. They also enjoyed some late winter/spring adventures including snowshoeing, kick sledding, dog sledding. Of course we also tapped some trees and made maple syrup. A number of community partners helped share their expertise at the event including The Iron Skillet (Kearney), Highlander Brew Co. (South River), SugarDogs Adventure Company (Strong Township), Vicki Arsenault – Restorative Yoga. Culinary Adventures at our Algonquin Park nature retreat also incorporate food from local farms like Sprucedale Quality Meats, Grandpa’s Farm, Big Ass Garlic, Stonemote (Gregor’s Garden!) and more.
Thank you to everyone for making this event so special.