Growing up in Vermont, maple sugar time was when sugar maple trees started producing a clear sweeter than sweet liquid called sap. Burr holes in the bark held a small faucet type tap where the bail of a bucket rested. They were great places to get a drink. Of course that was strictly forbidden, but you know kids!
The sap was gathered in tanks and then boiled down into different grades of maple syrup. It tastes much different than the Mrs. Butterworth version.
Homegrown aficionados prefer the darker full bodied grade, where newcomers to the treat always pick the lightest, fancy grade. Whatever you prefer, don’t let life go by without trying this delicious natural treat.