The Sticky, Sweet History of Making Maple Syrup
you know that cows can get drunk? I had no idea, until I started reading more about maple syrup and sugar. Apparently, farmers with both cows and sugar maples keep them as far away from each other as possible. Grazing cows will destroy saplings and get drunk on fermenting sap. It’s not really funny, but it’s funny. I wonder if moose do, too, or squirrels, since they both like to nibble on maple twigs. Squirrels bite the twigs at their base and gnaw holes in the bark, which lets the sap out. They know it freezes in the night, so they come back to eat it in the morning. The whole thing about flowing maple sap results from the climate—long cool temperatures below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. This up and down temperature acts like a pump, and few places in the world have this perfect climate.