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Author Topic: Tree Sap  (Read 4301 times)


  • Hlaford
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  • Essex scirgerefa
Tree Sap
« on: October 04, 2010, 10:26:14 PM »
Is there any evidence during our period of the boiling down of tree sap (maple, birch and lime might be the most likely) to make syrup and/or alcohol?  (These trees on average have up to half the sugar of a 'sugar-maple' in their sap)

The season to tap trees for sap is Spring (when supplies of mead and honey might be running low?) so other sources of sugar might have been appreciated.

Any views?
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David Cowley

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Re: Tree Sap
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 10:00:39 AM »
Birch and lime are native trees in Britain, but not maple (N American, though we have smaller distant relative called field maple here).
The folks of old were probably well into getting wild food whenever possible.
In Russia today, there are millions who spend a lot of time mushroom gathering and who have a good field knowledge of the species that can be eaten, something largely lost here now.

peter horn

  • Hlaford
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Re: Tree Sap
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 02:11:16 PM »
Taking sap from the birch seems to be an old practice. There seems to be no mention in the OE medical recipes, but, little doubt that many plants have been used for various reasons for many years  that are not mentioned in these recipes.
Leechbook 1 has a recipe (xxxvi) for a drink which includes using the rind of maple (mapul∂or) and birch (bircean), which is the nearest I can find for the sap-removing process.
The name 'maple' used in England before America of course.
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