As people who make syrup, we are interested in tasting syrup from other syrup makers and learning about their operations. What has been a bit of an eye-opener, however, are the realities of locating those people or relating to the processes taking over the craft. Thought your syrup came from X state? Maybe it did, or perhaps it was merely bottled there. Thought your syrup was made in your homeland of Canada or the United States? Hard to say, really… Thinking that your syrup from a local producer was from that farm’s trees? Not a given. What the heck, say we! It is a fluid industry in multiple ways! Another recent article described the “new” maple industry: producers with over 60,000 taps, another business with big financial backing installing 500,000 taps, equity investment firms pouring money into mega operations. The new norm is tree vacuum systems, reverse osmosis machines, pollarded trees, tanker trucks and all the other signs of an industrialized approach to a “wild” product. Far be it for us to slow progress, but with all this emphasis on quantity, we question where quality fits in. How much attention is being given to flavor, innovative processing, and maintaining a healthy pace for the trees producing the sap? Has maple production become less of a craft and more of a homogenized business focused on volume? Not at Tapatree.
In a time when “artisanal” is becoming a marketing term more than a reality, we are focusing on craft. Small difference? Perhaps. Notwithstanding, we on Zoar Road believe that there is room in a mass produced world for high quality, small batch, craft goods. And not just something whipped up by the guy across town (although it could be!), but created with an essential thoughtfulness, study, and skill. Crafted.
So…meet your Tapatree syrup~ Made from the natural, un-vacuumed flow of sap from the trees in the forests of Zoar. Carefully small-batched to present you with an array of flavors presented by the changing chemistry of the sap. Influenced by the deep limestone bedrock, and the unique terroir of our area. Minimally processed so that the full flavor is expressed and the minerals are preserved. Zoar Tapatree syrup is something special because it has been created with care, study and skill. It is crafted, and we believe the difference shows in the quality expressed.
The busiest days of the spring sugaring season are nearly upon us! Paul is planning for sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion. Jeri and the kids are grateful that the syrup pantry will once again be full. (Paul and I will be happy to stop having to hide every remaining drizzle from syrup-starved family members!) In the meantime, we will be in the woods preparing the trees, looking forward with relish to the full days ahead. Stay tuned for the excitement!