The province of Ontario, like the state of Vermont and the province of Quebec, is one of the world's biggest exporters of pure maple syrup. There is nothing like the scent, taste and texture of its golden sweetness. Not far from our family's cabin is one of North America's largest maple-syrup producers. Wheelers was founded in 1978 when Vernon and Judy Wheeler tapped their first maple trees on their 730-acre property. Their children (Mark, Angela, Kristen and Tracy) are still active in the production of maple-syrup here and help maintain the Wheelers family business. The pancake hosue and sugar camp was constructed in 1996 and it has been successful ever since, playing host to school field-trips, tourists and locals alike. We really enjoyed our morning here!
Mmmmmmmmmmm! The pancakes were light and fluffy and drizzled with light maple syrup. They were served with a slice of French toast and three small breakfast sausages.
HOW MAPLE SYRUP IS GRADED:
Grading is based on the colour and flavour of the syrup, which can be influenced by many factors: the type of maple, the temperature of the winter air, the cleanliness and age of the equipment used to harvest and produce the syrup and how long the sap is boiled into its syrup form. Generally, the warmer the raw sap is, and the longer the sap sits in its collection vessels, the darker the syrup and the stronger the flavour. All maple syrup is the same density, despite its consistency and colour.
EXTRA LIGHT #1 SYRUP: The lightest in colour and the most delicate maple syrup.
LIGHT #1 SYRUP: Darker in colour with a distinct maple flavour.
MEDIUM #1 SYRUP: Even darker in colour with a slightly more robust maple flavour.
AMBER #2 SYRUP: Dark colour with very strong caramel-like flavour. Perfect for baking and cooking.
DARK #3 SYRUP: Very dark colour and an intense maple flavour. Generally only for commercial use (i.e. maple flavouring.)My mom and I look very happy after our delicious pancake breakfast! Time to walk it off!