CBC Digital Archives

Canadian maple syrup

Is there such a thing as Canadian cuisine? The idea of ordering "Canadian" may have some scratching their heads. But Canada has given the world its share of gastronomic delights. From peameal bacon to poutine to pemmican, CBC Archives digs in to some distinctly homegrown fare.

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In many ways maple syrup is synonymous with Canada. Canada has been a leading producer of the golden liquid ever since the native people first taught settlers how to tap maple trees and boil down the sap. Canada produces about 85 per cent of the world's maple syrup. While maple syrup is viewed as an Eastern Canadian industry, as shown in this CBC Television footage, it thrives in the West as well. 
• According to many historians, the maple leaf and the maple tree came to symbolize Canada as early as 1700.
• Canada exports more than 28,685 tonnes of maple syrup to more than 30 countries. It's an export industry worth $145 million (2004).
• There are more than 10,300 maple syrup producers in Canada accounting for more than 33,680,000 taps. They are mostly found in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

• Main syrup-producing trees are sugar maples, red maples and silver maples. During the spring, the maple sugaring season, an average tree produces between 35 to 50 litres of sap, which will produce between one to 1.5 litres of maple syrup.
• A 50 ml serving of maple syrup contains 167 calories, 43 grams of sugar, 117 mg of potassium, 7 mg of sodium and no fat.

• Alexander Muir wrote the words and music for The Maple Leaf Forever as Canada's confederation song in 1867. The chorus goes:

The maple leaf, our emblem dear, the maple leaf forever. God save our queen and heaven bless, the maple leaf forever.

• The maple leaf gained more prominence when American composer Scott Joplin published one of ragtime's most popular pieces, The Maple Leaf Rag in 1899. It was named after the Maple Leaf Club in Sedalia, Mo., where Joplin once worked. It became the first piece of sheet music to sell more than a million copies.

• On Feb. 15, 1965, the red maple leaf flag was inaugurated as the national flag of Canada. The maple tree was officially proclaimed the national emblem of Canada on April 25, 1996.
Medium: Television
Program: Klahanie
Broadcast Date: Dec. 13, 1978
Duration: 4:42

Last updated: February 6, 2014

Page consulted on November 7, 2014

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