CAMBRIDGE, VT- It’s officially Sugaring Season in Vermont and Runamok Maple in Cambridge is off to a great start!
You may wonder what’s behind that deliciously sweet Vermont maple syrup.
At Runamok maple in Cambridge it takes a whole lot of hard work and dedication, according to their manager Dean Parent.
“It’s a lot of liquid, a lot of pumps, a lot of time, a lot of tears, and smiles and all the way around,” said Parent.
In January Runamok Maple started tapping the trees. They put about 71,000 taps in their sugar trees. It takes about 6 weeks to tap all the trees. Once the trees are tapped in, the sugar makers take the time to check all the taps periodically.
“They can come out and start checking tubing so they can come out and start checking for vacuum leaks making sure everything is tight and we’ve got good solid vacuum,” said Parent.
Generally, sugaring season starts mid-march. Parent says because it’s been a warmer winter, they have been able to start the process earlier. In order for the sap to run through the tubes, it needs to be certain temperatures outside.
“Sap won’t run out of a maple tree unless you have a freeze thaw situation. The pressure inside changes and it pushes the sap through the cell fibers in the tree and it extracts the sugar,” said Parent.
Once the sap runs through the tubes it’s time to be filtered, boiled, and turned into the syrup Vermont knows and loves.
“We run it through on our own. We pull most of the water out. We’ll bring that sugar content from a 2% bricks up to 20% bricks. Once we get it up to 18-20% we’ll start boiling it,” said Parent.
According to Parent, bricks is the weight of the sugar in the sap. There is a secret as to why Vermont maple syrup is the sweetest in the world and it has to do with bricks.
“Everybody else, Maine, New Hampshire, New York all of them they’ll take it to 66 bricks,” said Parent. “Pure Vermont maple syrup is 66.9 bricks.”
More bricks equals more sugar and the sweeter the taste!
Once it’s boiled to 66.9 bricks, the syrup is barreled and it’s time for Runomok to add their finishing touches.
“We do infused, smoked, and barrel aged maple syrup. We also produce a lot of pure maple syrup. We’re always up for experimenting with new things,” said co-owner Laura Sorkin.
Sorkin said Runamok likes to experiment with different flavors in their maple syrup. To see their products, click here.