10 March 2010


If there really is something called picture perfect spring day on a dream scape, well last Sunday was pretty much it.

Yeah , I know, spring is officially still weeks away, but nature has already started celebrating spring. And what better indicator to do that than arrival of spring to be signaled by the the Canadian signature tree "Maple" in itself.

Warm sunny days are just around the corner. Its the warmer day and chilling subzero nights which mark a special season of Ottawa - "The Maple Syrup Season". Though by the name of it , it really sounds boring and unromantic, but believe me you, its a fun and frolic season for all candy lovers out there.

After seeing an ad in local news paper , I thought of checking in into this ride by myself. So I traveled by bus  to a place called Sugarbush which is in a small suburb of Ottawa called Cumberland. And the first thing that strikes you is the long line of cars parked along the roadway. For sure you are not alone in this "sweet" adventure.

The gate of Sugarbush welcomes you as much as the intoxicating warm maple syrup smell. Before you give up to your senses, you see kids and grown ups lined up for the quintessential activity of creating a candy out by pouring  hot maple syrup on crushed ice. Just in 10 seconds or so the hot maple syrup starts getting crystallized and its time to wrap it around a wooden stick. By the end of 30 seconds , you are just holding a stick in hand sans the maple candy. Maple candy is now resting peacefully in your stomach. Take few moments to cherish the lingering sweet taste of maple candy and you are ready to go for another one.

On weekends , nearly thousands of people visit such farms on the outskirts of Ottawa. Some candy lovers however choose to go every weekend since the season only lasts for 2 months. In such farms you could see thousands of maple trees tapped for collecting sap. This sap is then boiled in an evaporator to create fresh maple syrup. Nearly 30-50 liters of sap creates one liter of quality syrup.
The whole process from collection of sap to its magical transformation into a crystallized candy is demonstrated in the farms.
This looks like a perfect setting for "Charlie and the chocolate factory Part 2". After 2 hours , 10 candies and 30$ s , I left for home contented both in body and mind.

PS. Some information is sourced from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Sun

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