Maple syrup is a potent symbol of Canadiana and a key staple in many of our nation’s pantries. But what you may not know is that the sugar maple doesn’t have a monopoly on the business of sweet sap. A growing industry is making use of birch trees to produce a similar sugary nectar.
Like maple syrup, birch syrup is produced by tapping mature trees—usually 30 to 70 years old, and at least 10 inches in diameter—in early spring, then evaporating and filtering the sap before bottling. Érablière Escuminac, in the Gaspésie region of Quebec, currently taps 6,000 trees annually, though the property has the capacity to harvest from up to 25,000 as demand increases. (more…)