Maple Sugaring – History

Maine Maple Sugaring History

The History of Maple Sugaring and Production in Maine

Maine has a long history of Maple Sugaring going back to the Native American tribes of the Northeast. Up until the 1800’s, Maple sugar was the primary form of sugar used in the United States. Once the sugar cane industry opened in the Caribbean Islands in the 1800’s, Maple syrup became a delicacy. As the demand for local and organic foods has increased, Maple syrup has grown in popularity as an organic and preservative-free option for sweetening. Ask us about ME Maple Producers or share your Maine Maple Sugaring comments. To feature your Maine Maple business, contact us.

History of Maple Sugaring – Maple Syrup Production

A Brief History of Maine Maple Syrup and Sugaring

The first people to make maple sugar were the Native American tribes of the Northeast, who used it as a flavoring for bread, stews, teas, and vegetables. Native Americans also traded maple sugar for other products they needed. The French and English colonists were delighted with the taste of maple sugar, and eventually, they learned the process of making it from the Native Americans. Maple sugar became the principal sweetener in North America. (Native Americans and colonists could not store maple syrup easily, so they used the dry form.) When cane sugar was introduced, New Englanders still preferred maple sugar because it was much cheaper and did not involve West Indian slave labor.

Once a staple of American life, the sweet products of the maple tree are now specialty items. Over the years, the price of cane sugar fell dramatically, and now cane sugar is the variety most Americans use every day. The popularity of Maple syrup keeps New England sugarhouses going. As anyone who has ever tasted it knows, genuine Maple syrup has a taste and texture that the imitations just cannot match. (In Quebec, cheap imitation maple syrup is called “sirop de poteau” or “pole syrup”, suggesting that it was made by tapping telephone poles. We couldn’t agree more.)

Production of Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar

When the weather conditions are right, sugarmakers will head into their stand of trees, usually called maple orchards or sugarbushes, in late February and begin drilling small holes into the trunks of their maple trees. If all goes well, a clear, slightly sweet liquid will slowly drip from the spiles into buckets or into a pipeline that will carry the sap to a central collection point.

The highest quality syrup is made from the freshest and cleanest sap. If not immediately tended, the sap will deteriorate and the resulting syrup will not meet maple connoisseurs’ high standards. Maine sugar shacks house huge evaporator pans fired by wood, oil, or gas to heat the sap to the boiling point. Billows of steam escape through a vent or cupola atop the shack, where the aroma travels on the air for all to enjoy.

It takes long hours and perseverance to produce Maine maple syrup worthy of the name. The boil-down process is especially tedious, continuing for hours in order to eliminate all water content from the sap. Once the boiling process is complete, the delectable golden brew is filtered and packed for distribution to eager consumers around the world. The Maine Department of Agriculture administers stringent quality requirements on the making and selling of Maine maple products.

Changes in Maple Syrup Production Methods

Because maple syrup is a natural product, the process of making it has changed little over the centuries. The main improvements have been in the materials used for collecting and boiling the sap. Native Americans had cut slashes in the trees and collected the sap in containers made of bark or hollowed-out logs. Colonists were concerned that slashing the trees with axes harmed the trees, and they began drilling small holes into the tree and inserting a wooden tube. The tube allowed the sap to flow out.

The process of collecting the sap with buckets was quite time-consuming. Over time, people began to use horses, oxen, or tractors to haul the sap to the sugarhouse. Most modern sugarmakers use plastic tubes to carry the sap from each tree to a central location. Plastic tubes also protect the sap from dirt and bacteria.

New materials have also made the process of boiling the sap more efficient. The Native Americans had used hot rocks to heat the sap. Colonists used wood fires and kettles made of cast iron, a material they had brought with them from Europe. In the late 1800’s, people began using flat-bottomed tin pans instead of iron kettles because they provided more even heat. Recently, many sugarmakers have replaced their wood-fired evaporators with ones that use oil.

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Maine Maple Syrup

  • All-Natural Maine Maple Syrup
  • Kosher, Nut and Gluten-Free
  • Amber/Rich is the #1 customer’s choice for table syrup. Think pancakes, waffles, baked beans and so much more.
  • Dark/Robust is dark amber in color with a robust maple flavor where you are looking for a stronger maple flavor. Think bbq sauces, a good cup of coffee, baked goods and lots more.
  • Our delicious single origin Maine maple syrup is made on our farm, from our own maple trees. Unlike large producers, we never blend our syrup. This allows us to provide you with the highest quality syrup. This has been proven year after year by blue ribbon awards!
  • Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup, 8.5 oz
  • It's real Maple Syrup straight from Maine maple trees to your table
  • Perfect gift for anyone who loves our pancake and waffle products
  • Our Maine Maple Syrup is one of our most sought after localized items
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • 3 - 3.4 fl oz jugs
  • U.S Grade A - Amber color with rich flavor
  • Made in Maine in small batches
  • Perfect for stocking stuffers or a gift for family, neighbors, co-workers
  • Sourced from real Maine Maple Trees
  • Stonewall Kitchen 3 Piece Syrup Collection
  • Complete your gourmet breakfast with three of our most incredible syrups
  • Perfect for a gift or a great way to sample flavors
  • Perfect family gift, housewarming gift or to thank your favorite hostess
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • Best Tasting, All Natural 100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Healthy and Delicious!
  • Fresh 2021 Syrup - Straight from the Producer - From Our Trees to Your Table
  • From the Heart of Maple Syrup Country in Northern Vermont
  • One Pint Maple Syrup (16 ounces) - Great for Breakfast on Pancakes or Oatmeal, or for baking, grilling, or cooking
  • BPA Free Plastic Jug - 16 Ounces - Perfect Gift or for Your Own Use
  • Half Gallon of the Best Tasting, All Natural 100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
  • Direct From our Maple Sugarbush in the Heart of Maple Syrup Country in Northern Vermont
  • Grade B Dark, Stronger Maple Syrup Flavor (Now Called Grade A Dark Robust)
  • Enjoy the Health Benefits of Maple Syrup - Minerals, Antioxidants, and Low Glycemic Index
  • Recommended for those on Master Cleanse Detox Diet
  • Box of Maine's Holiday Samplers & Gift Sets make an ideal holiday gift
  • Our 3 pack contains Jams, Syrup, Honey from Maine
  • Made in Maine in small batches
  • Perfect for stocking stuffers or a gift for family, neighbors, co-workers
  • The jams are made the old fashioned way, over a stove and hand poured.
  • SPRING BREAK DELICIOUS single origin Maine maple syrup is made on our farm, from our own maple trees. Unlike large producers, we never blend our syrup. This allows us to provide you with the highest quality syrup. This has been proven year after year by blue ribbon awards!
  • NATURALLY ORGANIC and less calories than honey
  • NORTHERN MAINE gives us colder temperatures along with the mineral rich soil, we believe this is what sets our Maine maple syrup apart from others. All natural with no additives or preservatives just Sweet, natural, simple maple syrup!
  • NATURAL SWEETENER
  • One Gallon of the Best Tasting, Certified Organic, Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
  • From the Heart of Maple Syrup Country in Northern Vermont. Certified Organic by USDA / The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont
  • Grade A Amber Rich. Great for Breakfast on Pancakes or Oatmeal, or for baking, grilling, or cooking.
  • Enjoy the Health Benefits of All Natural Maple Syrup - Minerals, Antioxidants, and Low Glycemic Index
  • Straight from the Producer - From Our Trees to Your Table. Buy Bulk Maple Syrup and Save.

Maine Maple Products

  • 100% ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP: Coomb’s Family Farms makes high quality 100% organic Vermont maple syrup perfect for pancakes, waffles, French toast, and any other recipe. Harvested from ancient sugar maple trees and hand crafted using traditional, artisanal health spout taps, our syrup is a pantry staple.
  • GRADE A AMBER AND RICH FLAVOR: Known for its smooth, full-bodied flavor and warm amber hues, this distinctive grade A syrup is produced mid-season when the temperatures start to warm. Its unique and subtle flavor is most often used for table syrup and in coffee and tea.
  • RESPONSIBLY SOURCED: Coombs Family Farms has produced organic, great tasting maple syrup for seven generations. We farm our own land, produce 100% organic maple syrup and package our own pure maple products. Coombs also sources maple syrup from over 3,000 small independent family farms that share our commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, and sustainable forest management.
  • “A NATURAL FOOD”: This 100% organic Vermont maple syrup is harvested from pesticide free farms. Containing no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes, this Grade A syrup is non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, and Kosher Certified.
  • PROTECT A WAY OF LIFE: At Coombs Family Farms, we support small family farms because we believe they provide more than high quality food. They help restore those lost feelings of connection and meaning by providing opportunities for us to play a better role in determining where the foods we eat come from, how our food is produced, and how it gets to our table. Small farms also strengthen rural economies, preserve important ecosystems, and help to protect a way of life that is increasingly under threat.
  • Stonewall Kitchen 3 Piece Syrup Collection
  • Complete your gourmet breakfast with three of our most incredible syrups
  • Perfect for a gift or a great way to sample flavors
  • Perfect family gift, housewarming gift or to thank your favorite hostess
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • Maine Maple
  • Locally tapped Maple Trees
  • Convenient care package
  • Quality and freshness guaranteed
  • Box of Maine's Holiday Samplers & Gift Sets make an ideal holiday gift
  • Our 3 pack contains Jams, Syrup, Honey from Maine
  • Made in Maine in small batches
  • Perfect for stocking stuffers or a gift for family, neighbors, co-workers
  • The jams are made the old fashioned way, over a stove and hand poured.
  • Stonewall Kitchen Our Breakfast Grab and Go Gift
  • We packed the tasty makings for a delicious pancake breakfast
  • Includes 1 Maple Syrup (8.5 oz), 1 Small Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix (16 oz), and a 10" Stainless Steel Balloon Whisk
  • Our Grab & Go Gifts are fun, unique and best all, delicious
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • Best Tasting, All Natural 100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup. Healthy and Delicious!
  • Fresh 2021 Syrup - Straight from the Producer - From Our Trees to Your Table
  • From the Heart of Maple Syrup Country in Northern Vermont
  • One Pint Maple Syrup (16 ounces) - Great for Breakfast on Pancakes or Oatmeal, or for baking, grilling, or cooking
  • BPA Free Plastic Jug - 16 Ounces - Perfect Gift or for Your Own Use
  • Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard, 8 Ounces
  • A must-have in the pantry with a hint of sweet Maine maple syrup
  • Nothing tastes as divine as a traditional baked ham or chicken glazed with Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard
  • Late night noshing takes on a whole new dimension when you dip pretzels into this sweet and savory mustard
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup, 8.5 oz
  • It's real Maple Syrup straight from Maine maple trees to your table
  • Perfect gift for anyone who loves our pancake and waffle products
  • Our Maine Maple Syrup is one of our most sought after localized items
  • It all started in 1991 at a local farmers' market with a few dozen items that we'd finished hand-labeling only hours before. Fast-forward to today and Stonewall Kitchen is now home to an ever-growing family of like-minded lifestyle brands! Expertly made with premium ingredients, our products are the result of decades spent dreaming up, testing and producing only the very best in specialty foods and fine home living.
  • Chocolate Whoopie Pie, Maine Maple Syrup, Humpty Dumpty All Dressed Chips, Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Maine Woods Candle
  • Convenient care package for those you love
  • Great tasting foods and even better memories
  • Great for Christmas, Valentines, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday Present
  • Gift Box filled with favorite items from Maine

Maine Maple Producers by Region

maine-maple producers, vacation-map

Discover Maine Maple Producers by region. Aroostook, Downeast, Katahdin, Kennebec, Lakes, Mid-Coast, Portland and South-Coast.

Aroostook ME Maple Producers
Fort Kent, Houlton, Presque Isle
Downeast & Acadia ME Maple Producers
Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Eastport, Lubec, Cherryfield, Machias
Katahdin & Moosehead ME Maple Producers
Bangor, Brewer, Greenville, Lincoln, Millinocket, Orono
Kennebec & Moose River ME Maple Producers
Augusta, Skowhegan, Waterville, The Forks
Lakes & Mountains ME Maple Producers
Auburn, Lewiston, Norway, Bethel, Farmington, Naples
Midcoast ME Maple Producers
Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Rockland, Brunswick, Belfast, Searsport
Greater Portland ME Maple Producers
Portland, Freeport, Yarmouth, Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth
South Coastal Maine Maple Producers
Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kittery, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Wells, York


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Maple Sugar Grades | Maple Syrup Storage



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