Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “We use it on pancakes, we want to taste the maple,” Debbie said.
It wasn’t hard to find that taste at the event hosted by Heidi and Jason Wolf. The air in their sugarhouse was thick with the sweet, sticky feel of syrup, and the hands of patrons were filled with everything from hot dogs boiled in a maple mixture and maple-coated popcorn to maple-flavored donuts and soda.
“Maple has it’s own flavor, but it mixes well with other flavors,” said Jason, who was stationed near his oil-fired evaporator to offer an explanation of the syrup-making process and to see patrons’ reactions to the pure flavor of locally made syrup. “I like to watch people tasting it, and see the ‘wows!’ “
Among those getting a taste at the sugarhouse and more for back at home were Jenneifer Allis of Gasport and her daughter Crimson, who took home a maple sucker and maple coated almonds to go with a half-gallon of syrup. The Allis’ home has its fair share of maple trees, but its easy and more fun to eat than make.
“I’d rather (come out here) than have to boil down 40 gallons of sap to get a gallon of syrup,” Jennifer said.
While their evaporator wasn’t running a fresh batch of sap into syrup, Jason Wolf could show off a new piece of equipment that makes the process a lot easier.
The Wolfs have a new evaporator that brings in sap with about 2 percent sugar content and filters out water to raise that number to about 10 percent. From there the liquid has to reach 67 percent sugar for syrup, but hours have been taken off the process.
“I want to process it as soon as possible,” said Jason, whose syrup-making process happens in about a third of as much time now. That’s key in a short season that often has sap rushing for only brief periods.