Tapping for sugar


This is obtained by tapping the sugar-maple tree in the spring, while the sap is ascending vigorously. The trees grow in groves or orchards in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Canada, as well as farther south. In February and March persons go to the maple groves and bore the trees with augers, two holes in each tree, near each other, two feet above the ground and only half an inch beyond the bark into the white wood. Tubes of split elder are then introduced, and the sap allowed to flow into troughs prepared for it. The sap is poured into kettles and boiled briskly, the scum being removed as it forms. When it becomes a thick syrup it is cooled and filtered through woollen cloth. After a second boiling it is left for granulation in moulds made of birch bark. Maple sugar may be refined so as to be perfectly white, but is generally eaten in the crude state. A good deal of it is sold in small cakes in the northern cities.


In France and Belgium this is quite largely manufactured. The fresh root of the sugar beet contains from five to twelve per cent. of sugar. The juice is obtained by pressure, after a kind of tearing or grating process has broken up the fibres and cells. The liqueur is then boiled with lime, filtered, concentrated by evaporation, and granulated much as cane-sugar.

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