Volume 3 Chapter 8-3: Maple Syrup

 


「Chief, are these tree juices really that good?」
「It will be unbelievably refined and delicious. A high class good almost incomparable to regular sugar. Plus it has some nutritional value and will make you more energetic.」

Maple syrup was deliciously sweet, but it didn’t leave a cloying aftertaste.

It had minerals, potassium, polyphonol, and half the calories of sugar….for Erucy that was lacking in high calorie foods that was a bit of a minus, but on Earth that made it even better.

「Oi oi, are you being serious?」

Roleau said in disbelief as he looked at the sap dripping drop by drop into the jug. He stuck his finger in and took a lick.

「Hmm, it is sweet like you said…but it’s not nearly as sweet as I thought.」
「Well….yeah of course」
「Chief, you were the one who just said it was super delicious!」
「Well…it won’t be delicious if you just eat the raw sap. We need one more trick to get it to taste great. Kuu, please help me out for a minute.」
「Okay, what do you need?」
「Wait a second while I get this ready.」

I said as I pulled out a cup I had made for the purpose of showing this off to the people who were curious. Then I patiently waited as the cup slowly filled until it had around 100ml of sap inside it.

「Kuu, heat this up until just before the boiling point. Hold it there until I say you can stop.」
「Easily done~」

Kuu utilized her power and heated the maple sap. As the water from the sap evaporated into the air, the clear sap began to turn a golden color.

It was faster to just boil it, but doing so would ruin some of the nutritional value and flavor.

「Thanks, you can stop now.」
「Most of it disappeared huh…」

From the 100ml of sap only a few drops remained.

Maple syrup was made by concentrating maple sap by around 40 times so it couldn’t be helped.

「Roleau sample this. This is concentrated sap. The sap that you licked just a bit ago was only the raw materials. This is the maple syrup we will use as our specialty product.」
「Then I’ll give it a shot.」

Roleau stuck his finger in the cup.

The sap had been watery, but now it had become sticky syrup. Roleau took it and brought it to his mouth.

The moment he tasted it, his eyes flew open in surprise.

「So good! Delicious! I want more!」

He said so fast that I barely understood him before he stick his finger back in the cup and tried to get as much syrup as he could. Still unsatisfied, he took the cup and licked the inside clean.

It was such an unseemly sight that everyone else fell silent.

「Well…as you can see an adult man lost his sense of propriety after tasting it, so it’s truly delicious. That’s why we can make money off of it and make our food more delicious.」

I said as Roleau returned to his senses and blushed deep red. Even if you blush like that seeing a man do that wasn’t cute at all.

Sweet things were extremely precious on this continent. Because produce like sugar beets that could be grown in the cold hadn’t been discovered yet, and because sugarcane that grew in warm climates had to be imported, sugar and sweet items were extremely expensive.

Since this world had not cultivated fruits over generations to become sweet and delicious, most natural fruit was quite acidic and lacked in sweetness. Because of this, people sought out honey for their sweets. As a result of them unthinkingly going after honey bees, they ended up over-exploited and most of them died out causing honey to become rare.

When I investigated the price of sugar in the Commercial City Erin, I found that it was sold at 1 gold (60,000 yen) per 500g. Even so, it was selling rapidly. In comparison, the maple syrup we would make could probably be sold for 1 gold per 500ml.

「But Cyril, if we just need the sap from these trees then couldn’t we take them anytime? Why did we have to wait til the end of winter?」
「That’s a good question Lucy. It is because if we took the sap at any other time, the sweetness would be very weak. Maple trees use nutrients they gathered in the fall to survive the cold of winter and increase the sweetness of their sap. Once winter ends, the high sugar sap is sent around the tree to feed it. If it doesn’t overcome the winter then the sap will not be sweet. Furthermore, if we try to collect the sap in a season where the sweetened sap isn’t circulating throughout the tree, then we can’t collect it at all.」

Plus the sweet sap won’t last forever. The sugar content will end up getting used quickly.

「So that means there’s only a little time where we can collect the delicious sap?」
「Yup, this year it should only last around 3 weeks.」
「Each year only three weeks…..that’s really extravagant. But you said that every 5 days one tree will produce 40L right? Over three weeks we should be able to get 160L then.」
「Well…unfortunately we can only collect 40L from a single tree. Any more than that and we could cause permanent damage to the tree and it could die. Every five days we have to switch to new trees. We can’t let this chance pass us by. So everyone hurry and prepare the collection tools. If we don’t fill up the jugs then we can’t move on to the next trees.」

I called out and everyone started getting busy.

There were those who looked over with clear desire to taste the syrup, but that was something that would have to wait til 5 days from now.

By then the jugs we had set up today would be filled with sap.


 

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