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Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival

Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival

Quest for the Fest - Sn 1/Ep 6Quest for the Fest - Sn 1/Ep 6

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You can never have too much maple syrup, eh? This week on Quest for the Fest, Amy Shuster is at the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival.

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- ♫ Every year you'll see them here, down at Sandy Flats ♫ Where they're gathering in the sap from the maple taps ♫ Those pancakes are so yummy yum yum ♫ With the maple tree's delight - Hey everybody, what's up? I'm Amy Shuster, and today, I'm in Canada, checking out the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival. Yup, there's a festival all about maple syrup, and I'm here to find out what that's all about. Come with me to discover festivals big and small from all across the globe, where people indulge their senses in a celebration of local treats and time-honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it. Canadians are our friendly neighbors from the North who always seems do things just a little bit differently than us. When you think of food festivals, you don't think about being out in the cold woods to celebrate a condiment. But that's how these Canucks like to party: with maple syrup, lots of maple syrup. For the past 30 years, the town of Warkworth and the Sandy Flat Sugar Bush farm have been teaming up to throw this maple syrup festival that continues to grow each year. Are you Dennis? - Yes, I am. - Hi, Amy. - Pleased to meet you. - Nice to meet you. The chairman of the fest and town-favorite Dennis will be giving me a guided tour into the magical land of maple syrup. I have never been more excited for pancakes. So we are traveling towards the Sugar Bush. This whole festival is put on by volunteers. The buses are donated. The bus drivers do volunteer their time, and there's about 200 of us volunteers that put this together. - Wow. All from the town? - All from the town. - I can already tell by talking to Dennis there's something very special about this place. It's a full-time job for you. - Uh, a full-time unpaid volunteer job. - Maybe it's Dennis's undying love for this festival. - So it's truly just to see the smiles and happiness on faces. - Or maybe it's that we're in Canada. It all makes me wonder, am I in some magical fairytale land? Could this be the real-life North Pole? I don't know, but hopefully I'll find my answers at the maple syrup farm. Whoa! - This is our pancake house. - This is quite a pancake production. - Yes, this is a production. As you can see why, there is a lineup because they can only make so many pancakes at a time. - Yeah, it matters. - It's all synchronized. And... yeah. - This place is like an elves' workshop. For a pancake lover like me, it can't get more magical than this. - Couple of thousand pancakes a day, easily. Are you hungry, would you like to have a sample? - I am down. - Okay. - Let's get some of that maple syrup madness. The fest is clearly a celebration among friends and family of Canada's majestic sugar tree. - Okay, well let's drizzle-- - Yes, please. - Some of this famous maple syrup. - Thank you. - And actually, years in the past, this has been world-winning maple syrup. - Really? - Yes, it has been. - Mmm, mmm... - Mouth-watering. - Mmm, so good. - Excellent. - It's so perfect on the pancakes. Thank you so much. These pancakes were a nice treat. - Derek and Angela van Stam are the owners of Sandy Flat Sugar Bush, and have offered to give me a tour. - Welcome. - Awesome. - We've got lots of festivities for you today. - I'm excited to learn about maple syrup. - Yeah, let's go check it out! - Cool, awesome. Oh, I gotta get in here. Woohoo! - Yeah, grab a stick. - Thanks. - So this is taffy in the snow. It's uh-- - Taffy in the snow. - You bring the temperature up to a 114 degrees Celsius, and we pour it on cold snow and you can actually roll the taffy on your popsicle stick and eat it. It's quite tasty. - So, it's maple syrup? - [Angela] It's pure maple syrup. - Oh nice, it just picks right up. All right, I'm gonna dig in. Mmm, that's tasty. THat's maple syrup on a stick. After eating maple syrup every which way, it's safe to say this place is enchanting. But how? Maybe if the van Stams show me how they make maple syrup, I can figure it out. - So there's a system in how you tap You look for the previous year's taps and move an inch over, and six inches up or down. Here's a hole here, so six inches, eight inches up. - You have little spouts. - There's sap! Can I eat it? - Yes, you can. - Yay! Mmm! And then, voila! Nice, so you have to do all these trees? - Yes. - How many trees do you have on this farm? - Oh, around 4,500 to 5,000 trees. - You have a team though, right, helping you? - Uh, there's myself and usually a friend or two that help-- - A friend or two, what? - Yeah. - Well, there goes my theory there's elves working through the night. Even though I learned how to get sap from a tree, it's still left me wondering. Let's see if Angela can help me find some answers. - The way we grade in Ontario is right now, we have it light, medium, and amber. So did you want to try? - Yeah, sure. - They're all 66 bricks, so they're all the same level of sugar inside each product. - [Amy] Okay. - So, the light is pulled right at the beginning of the spring - [Amy] Yeah. - This is pulled partway in the spring, and this is when the trees almost start budding, is when we pull the darker syrup. - Okay, so the longer it's in there, the more potent it becomes. - That's right. - But I'm still gonna get the same sugar high-- - You're right. - From all of them, good. - So they tend to get a little bit stronger in taste as the grade goes up. And this one is my favorite, Ontario's amber, because it really brings out the maple flavor. - Mmm, mmm... Yeah, I don't think I've had maple syrup like that before. It's a lot bolder and richer and... Well, thank you, Angela. Thank you for all the info. - Yeah, no problem. - [Amy] I had no idea there was so much to learn about maple syrup. Thank you. - [Angela] Take care. - After all that delicious sugar, I think I need to clear my belly and my head with some good old Canadian lumberjack skills. Luckily, Dennis is gonna help me get my fix. - So the secret is pulling. - Pull. - You're gonna pull, you're gonna pull. - Okay. - You're gonna pull, you're gonna pull. There's no pushing. - Okay, ready? [Lumberjack Instructor] Go for it. - Nice and easy, that's it. - And pull and pull and pull. And pull and pull, you got it. Pull! Pull! You got it. - This is my exercise for the day. - Yup, yup. - Okay, we're-- - Good job, all right. I still haven't been able to quite put my finger on what it is about this place, but hopefully, I'll find my answers inside the town. - [Monica] Welcome to Cara Mia Bakery. - [Amy] Thanks for having me. - All right. - [Amy] I've heard so many good things about this famous maple butter tarts. This is the place for it? - This is the place. Monica Johnson is the town's baker, and she's been kind enough to take time out of her busy day to teach me how to make the best butter tart in Ontario. - We start with the sugar in the butter. It gets poured in. And we have our maple syrup from Sandy Flat. - Secret sauce? - Secret ingredient. This is what gives it the flavor. So now, these are ready to go into shells. - [Amy] Cool. What is that deliciousness? I must have it. It's baking time. - And we have some in there already baking, so we're gonna put this in. The next one out. - These smell like heaven. Ah, they're bubbly, they're gooey, they're yummy-looking. Mmm, mmm... - Yes. - Mmm, that's good. It's so gooey and chewy and flaky and buttery and... - All right, that's what it should be. - Thank you so much for showing me this recipe. - You're welcome, I'm glad you came. - And introducing me to the wonderful world of maple syrup with butter tarts. All along, I've been wondering what makes this place so magical. Is it the pancake house, the wooded forest, or all that maple syrup? I realized the answer has been right in front of my nose this whole time. It's the people of Warkworth and Sandy Flat that make it so. They truly love this place and it spreads throughout like, well, you guessed it, maple syrup. And what better way to end the fest than with a massage? Canadian style, of course, with none other than their favorite topping. - Maple syrup is full of antioxidants, amino acid, and folic acid. It's also full of all the B vitamins and calcium and magnesium. - Now I know they make delicious things, but I think I have a newfound appreciation for maple trees. Well, this marks the end of my time here in Canada. Thanks for joining me, I hope you had fun, and see you at the next one. Bye.

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