The History and Process Behind Maple Syrup

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Native Americans were the first to discover ‘sinzibuckwud‘, the Algonquin (a Native American tribe) word for maple syrup, meaning literally ‘drawn from wood’.

The Native Americans were the first to recognize the sap as a source of energy and nutrition. They would use their tomahawks to make V-shaped incisions in the trees. Then, they would insert reeds or concave pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets made from birch bark. Due to the lack of proper equipment, the sap was slightly concentrated either by throwing hot stones in the bucket, or by leaving it overnight and disposing with the layer of ice out which had formed on top. It was drunk as a sweet drink or used in cooking. It is possible that maple-cured bacon began with this process.

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Before the advent of Europeans, the Natives used clay pots to boil maple sap over simple fires protected only by a roof of tree branches. This was the first version of the sugar shack. Over the years, this evolved to the point where the sugar shack is not only a place where maple syrup is produced, but also a gathering place where a traditional meal can be enjoyed.

Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup. Most trees can produce 20 to 60 litres (5 to 15 US gallons) of sap per season

About the Cities of Super Bowl 2010: Indianapolis

The Colts are in the Super Bowl so the city deserves the spotlight.   Of course, Peyton Manning helped to lead the team to the Big Game in Miami.  Ironically, Manning will play the team(The Saints) which represents the city of his birth, New Orleans.

Natives in Indiana

Native Americans who lived in the area included the Miami and Lenape (or Delaware) tribes, who were removed from the area by the early 1820s.

Naming the City of Indianapolis

Indianapolis was selected as the site of the new state capital in 1820. While most American state capitals tend to be located in the central region of their respective states, Indianapolis is the only capital to be in the exact center of its state.  Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; literally, Indianapolis means “Indiana City“.  The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade.

Learn about Fry Bread commonly made by Native Americans.

History of the Pumpkin

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C.

References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was changed by the French into “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.”

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Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed. They also dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. Indians would also roast long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and eat them. When white settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians and pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets. As today, early settlers used them in a wide variety of recipes from desserts to stews and soups. The origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.

Random Info About the Pumpkin:

  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
  • Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
  • Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
  • Native Americans called pumpkins “isqoutm squash.”
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.