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

  • FLAVOR PROFILE: The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor. Our Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste maple syrup is the darkest grade available, providing a strong and hearty maple flavor. Great for all around use including table top and cooking.
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor. Our Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste maple syrup is the darkest grade available, providing a strong and hearty maple flavor. Great for all around use including table top and cooking.
  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED: At Butternut Mountain Farm we are committed to giving you 100% pure Vermont maple syrup. The farmers with whom we work with understand maple and share our commitment to maintaining the health and sustainability of our forests.
  • QUALITY STORY: Our pure maple syrup is carefully selected to ensure the product you receive is of the highest quality. With our strict quality standards, we can trace every drop of syrup from farm to table.
  • Non Gmo Project Verified
  • One (1) 24 fl oz bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's Thick and Rich Sugar Free Pancake Syrup
  • Thick and delicious breakfast syrup without sugar perfect for pancakes, waffles and more
  • Indulge in rich maple syrup flavor in a sugar free waffle syrup from a brand you know and love
  • Great for topping breakfast food like French toast, oatmeal or crispy bacon
  • Try this Mrs. Butterworth's syrup in sweet or savory recipes to add a touch of maple flavor without added sugar
  • Sweetened with Splenda
  • A delicious pairing with Maple Grove pancakes and waffles
  • Rich, authentic maple flavor
  • Low in calories
  • Fat-free
  • Grade A organic amber color maple syrup with a rich taste
  • There's nothing quite so good as pure maple syrup
  • As the largest packer of pure maple syrup in the country, we go out of our way to provide you with the finest maple syrup possible
  • That's why our Grade A maple syrup is renowned for its wonderful flavor, color and consistency
  • Each serving of Maple Grove Farms pure maple syrup contains no high fructose corn syrup, fat, sodium or cholesterol
  • That's why our Grade A maple syrup is renowned for its wonderful flavor, color and consistency
  • Most use it on pancakes, waffles or French toast, but the possibilities are endless
  • Each serving of Maple Grove Farms Pure Maple Syrup contains no high fructose corn syrup, fat, sodium or cholesterol
  • As the largest packer of pure maple syrup in the country, we go out of our way to provide you with the finest maple syrup possible
  • There's nothing quite so good as pure maple syrup
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC: By Vermont Organic Farmers LLC (VOF). Guaranteeing you and your family a healthier product, sourced from local organic Vermont Farms. Not only better for you, but also better for the land and Tastes Great! VOF certification also guarantees you a non-GMO syrup.
  • AMBER COLOR WITH RICH FLAVOR: Full of characteristic maple flavor, this syrup is equally as good over waffles as it is in salad dressings, cocktails, or in a maple-sweetened barbecue sauce. If you're only going to have one grade of Vermont maple syrup in your kitchen, make it Amber Color with Rich Flavor.
  • HANDCRAFTED VERMONT SYRUP: All of our syrup comes from organic family farms in Vermont.
  • BPA FREE PLASTIC JUGS: These sturdy plastic jugs are BPA free, providing you a safe and convenient package.
  • CERTIFIED KOSHER
  • TASTE, SMELL, & CONSISTENCY JUST LIKE MAPLE SYRUP. We challenge you to tell the difference between Wholesome Yum sugar-free maple syrup and real maple syrup in your own blind taste test. It's sweet, aromatic, thick, and sticky like the real thing, with NO AFTERTASTE. You don’t have to miss maple syrup anymore!
  • SUGAR-FREE & KETO FRIENDLY. With only 20 calories and 2g net carbs per serving, our natural keto pancake syrup has very low glycemic impact and won't spike blood sugar.
  • NATURALLY SWEETENED & FLAVORED. Wholesome Yum sugar free syrup is naturally sweetened with Besti (our popular natural monk fruit allulose blend sweetener in liquid form, without water or thickeners) and naturally flavored with real maple. NO artificial ingredients!
  • GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Low carb, gluten-free, paleo, diabetic friendly, tooth friendly, tummy friendly (no erythritol or sugar alcohols), Non-GMO Project certified, and just plain delicious. It’s a keto maple syrup, but also perfect for anyone wanting to reduce sugar intake!
  • SO MANY WAYS TO USE IT. Use Wholesome Yum low carb maple syrup anywhere you would use real maple syrup. Enjoy it as a sugar free pancake syrup for breakfast, stir it into drinks, or in your favorite recipes, including desserts, sauces, glazes, dressings, marinades, and baking.
  • One 64 fl oz bottle of Log Cabin Original Pancake Syrup
  • Rich, delicious pancake and waffle syrup offers a traditional flavor
  • This breakfast syrup is easy to squeeze onto a variety of breakfast foods
  • Top your pancakes, waffles, French toast, oatmeal and other breakfast favorites with this Log Cabin syrup
  • Made with no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors
  • SOUL-STIRRING FLAVOR: Crown Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged organic maple syrup showcases distinctive aromas and flavors of maple, bourbon, smoky oak, graham cracker, brown butter & creamy vanilla; 25 fl oz
  • AGED IN WIDOW JANE BOURBON BARRELS: We take organic estate-produced maple syrup and age it in super-premium oak barrels from 10-year bourbon from Widow Jane, based in Brooklyn NY; Syrup may contain trace amounts of alcohol
  • TOP IT OFF: Drizzle maple syrup on yogurt, oatmeal and ice cream, in coffee, tea, hot chocolate or as a mixer with bourbon, rye and whiskey cocktails; And of course, brunch or breakfast pancakes, waffles, French toast & bacon
  • MARINATE, CARAMALIZE AND GLAZE: Grade A Amber Maple syrup complements poultry and pork as a marinade or glaze; Use with balsamic for a sweet vinaigrette; Our syrup is sure to elevate any recipe
  • Includes 1 (36oz) bottle of Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup, Packaging May Vary
  • Oh, how sweet it is! That’s what your family will say when you top their pancakes or waffles with our Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup
  • Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup is sure to make everyday breakfasts a little sweeter.
  • Pairs perfectly with your favorite Pearl Milling Company Pancake & Waffle mix
  • Go ahead and pour it on as thick as you want!

Maine Maple Products

  • That's why our Grade A maple syrup is renowned for its wonderful flavor, color and consistency
  • Most use it on pancakes, waffles or French toast, but the possibilities are endless
  • Each serving of Maple Grove Farms Pure Maple Syrup contains no high fructose corn syrup, fat, sodium or cholesterol
  • As the largest packer of pure maple syrup in the country, we go out of our way to provide you with the finest maple syrup possible
  • There's nothing quite so good as pure maple syrup
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC: By Vermont Organic Farmers LLC (VOF). Guaranteeing you and your family a healthier product, sourced from local organic Vermont Farms. Not only better for you, but also better for the land and Tastes Great! VOF certification also guarantees you a non-GMO syrup.
  • AMBER COLOR WITH RICH FLAVOR: Full of characteristic maple flavor, this syrup is equally as good over waffles as it is in salad dressings, cocktails, or in a maple-sweetened barbecue sauce. If you're only going to have one grade of Vermont maple syrup in your kitchen, make it Amber Color with Rich Flavor.
  • HANDCRAFTED VERMONT SYRUP: All of our syrup comes from organic family farms in Vermont.
  • BPA FREE PLASTIC JUGS: These sturdy plastic jugs are BPA free, providing you a safe and convenient package.
  • CERTIFIED KOSHER
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Our Grade A Amber Color Rich Taste syrup provides a naturally sweet, rich and smooth taste. A pronounced maple flavor makes Amber Rich maple syrup a favorite for table and all around use.
  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED: At Butternut Mountain Farm we are committed to giving you 100% pure Vermont maple syrup. The farmers with whom we work with understand maple and share our commitment to maintaining the health and sustainability of our forests.
  • QUALITY STORY: Our pure maple syrup is carefully selected to ensure the product you receive is of the highest quality. With our strict quality standards, we can trace every drop of syrup from farm to table.
  • PACKAGING BENEFITS: Easy-open, easy-pour, jugs are tamper-evident with an inner seal. They ship well, so they make excellent gifts. Syrup stored in BPA-free plastic jugs retains its natural flavor better than in traditional tin containers.
  • OTHER USES: Use in coffee/tea, cocktails or over cereal, fruit, yogurt or pudding. Add to baked beans, apple pies, pickles and stir fries. Makes a delicious marinade or sauce. Great as a gift.
  • Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Crepe Mix, 16 Ounce
  • Mix up your breakfast routine and enjoy some crepes for a change. Fill 'em with your favorite jam or simply pour maple syrup over them and dust with powdered sugar
  • Try our Traditional Crepe Mix for dinner - how about filling them with herb cheese and salmon
  • Easy to make buttery, light and so tasty. Try some chocolate and strawberries for a desert treat
  • Stonewall Kitchen Family of Brands: Our award winning line of gourmet food, home goods, and gifts are loved around the world. Featuring brands such as Legal Sea Foods, Michel Design Works, Montebello, Napa Valley Naturals, Stonewall Home, Stonewall Kitchen, Urban Accents, Vermont Coffee Company, Vermont Village, and Village Candle
  • About Us: 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 Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix (33 oz)
  • The tastiest and fluffiest pancakes you may ever make
  • Multiple sizes available so you'll have plenty on hand for everyone to enjoy a stack
  • Our secret ingredient of malted flour gives our pancakes a rich vanilla aroma
  • Stonewall Kitchen Family of Brands: Our award winning line of gourmet food, home goods, and gifts are loved around the world. Featuring brands such as Legal Sea Foods, Michel Design Works, Montebello, Napa Valley Naturals, Stonewall Home, Stonewall Kitchen, Urban Accents, Vermont Coffee Company, Vermont Village, and Village Candle
  • About Us: 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.
  • The Grip-n-Rip II features a 10% larger design as compared to the original Grip-N-Rip
  • A larger through hole makes the Grip-N-Rip II easier to get on and off your bat
  • Made with a new material that is very durable and long lasting
  • Color patterns may differ from picture.
  • DARK COLOR WITH ROBUST FLAVOR: Good for all around use, its hearty flavor is a great choice for all kinds of recipes. Pour over baked apples or squash, use as a glaze for meats and vegetables, or sweeten baked goods. This grade pairs well with smoky and spicy flavors like chipotle peppers, sriracha, or bourbon.
  • BPA FREE PLASTIC JUGS: These sturdy plastic jugs are BPA free, providing you a safe and convenient package.
  • CERTIFIED KOSHER
  • Product of the USA and Canada
  • Great as a sweetener
  • Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Onion Jam, 11.75 oz
  • A delicious sweet and savory combination of flavors
  • Great as a savory pizza base, to mix into mashed potatoes or to top a juicy burger
  • Wonderful for creating a pan sauce or paired with cheeses
  • Stonewall Kitchen Family of Brands: Our award winning line of gourmet food, home goods, and gifts are loved around the world. Featuring brands such as Legal Sea Foods, Michel Design Works, Montebello, Napa Valley Naturals, Stonewall Home, Stonewall Kitchen, Urban Accents, Vermont Coffee Company, Vermont Village, and Village Candle
  • About Us: 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 Bourbon Bacon Jam, 12.5 Ounce
  • A boozy, savory jam with real pieces of bacon
  • Sweetened with Grade A Maine maple syrup
  • Just one of our many bacon-filled products!
  • 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.
  • Maple Flavor: Made with real maple syrup for a delicious maple flavor
  • Hard Candy Candy: Crispy hard candy candies that are fun to eat
  • 1 Pound Bag: Contains 16 ounces of candy for sharing or gifting
  • Occasions: Perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion
  • Butternut Mountain Farms: Made by Butternut Mountain Farms, a leading candy brand

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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