First Nations Sap cooking method

Maple Syrup Festival

First Nations Sap cooking method

Oakville, Ontario L6M, Canada

Created By: Bronte Creek Provincial Park


People who have made the area of Bronte Creek Provincial Park and most of southern Ontario home have been producing Maple Syrup for hundreds if not thousands of years. The First Nations were the first to learn of the maple trees sweet sap and european settlers learned from them. Technology may have helped to make the collection and cooking methods more efficient but as you will see the process is the same.

When the Europeans settled in Eastern Canada around 400 years ago, they discovered that the First Nations were making an unrefined, dark sugar from the sap of the maple trees. Our recorded knowledge of maple syrup production starts at this time, although production started much earlier, an exact date has not been determined.

A slanted groove was cut into the tree and a shingle or spout was placed in the groove helping to direct the sap into birch bark vessels located at the base of the tree. The sap would then be poured into a hollowed-out log, clay pot or animal skin-lined vessel.

The sap then had to be boiled. One method used was by heating rocks in a fire then placing the hot rocks into the sap to evaporate the water.

The First Nations are credited with making the first maple syrup/sugar.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Maple Syrup Festival


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