Click here for a PDF version of our Syrup Brochure.
Click here for a PDF version of the Anderson Family Tradition Brochure.
Steve and Alison Anderson - 2015 WMSPA Producer of the Year
History of Anderson's Maple Syrup as told by Norman
Click here to find out more about "The Anderson Maple Syrup Family"
Norman Anderson - Maple Hall of Fame
Anderson's Maple Syrup, Inc. has been a family run and organized business for over 80 years. Steve Anderson is the
third generation Anderson to carry on the family tradition. Steve's grandfather Paul Anderson started the business
in the early 20's as just a little hobby to put some syrup on the table. When Norman Anderson, Steve's Father was
old enough to help out he and Paul started to make the business grow.
In the mid 30's they began by selling their entire year's supply of syrup to Hove's, which would later become Lunds and is now part of the Lunds-Byerly's chains. They eventually added other routes that took them through parts of Wisconsin and into Northern Minnesota. In the late 40's they both decided that there was a greater opportunity to be had in the maple syrup business than in farming. They took a giant step, sold all their cows and jumped head first into the maple syrup business. From the start they knew that this was a huge risk, but they worked hard and built the business that thrives today, know as Anderson's Maple Syrup, Inc. Steve has been in charge with much guidance from his father Norman since 1997, when he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Steve has great plans just as his father and grandfather did, to make Anderson's Maple Syrup, Inc. the best company that it can be.
Even though that may sound impressive, Anderson's Maple Syrup has a very small staff. The bottling and delivery of Anderson's Maple Syrup is mostly done by Steve Anderson and Fred Buchholz, the company's long time employee and friend. Norman Anderson still plays an important role as mentor and basic over seeing of what is going on with the company. Other help, such as paper work and other odds and ends are is provided by Steve's mother Janice Anderson as well as his wife, Alison.
These pictures show some of what goes on in our sugar bush as well as how we bottle syrup and package Pure Maple Syrup. Oh, and of course some great pictures from the past. Please sit back and enjoy this short slide show as it flashes before you.
The Maple Syrup Story
History reveals several explanations for the discovery of maple syrup. The most widely accepted story is that of
how a family squabble turned into an important agricultural discovery. The story says an Indian woman placed her
cooking pot under a maple tree as a subtle hint to her man that she needed water from the spring to cook
a meal with. The man, in a fit of anger, plunged his tomahawk deep into the maple tree to remind his woman that
he was above such a womanly chore as fetching water. The next morning, as the story continues, the woman found the
pot nearly full and proceeded to cook meat for a meal. What she thought was water cooking was actually sap from a
maple tree. After the meat was cooked they discovered the sweet flavor in the pan - she had made the first pot of
pure maple syrup. Other stories are reasonable and some not, but one fact that can not be denied is that pure maple
syrup is definitely as American as Plymouth Rock or pumpkin pie and older than either.
The Indians regarded the sap of the maple tree as a direct gift from the Great Spirit. They welcomed the Mapleing Season each year with a great thanksgiving celebration. Maple syrup and the direction to make it was among the first gifts given to white settlers, who embraced the process of tapping the trees and making maple syrup. Maple syrup was an important part of surviving the long, cold mid western winters for the Indians and settlers alike.
The maple syrup industry is located only in North America. Maple trees grow and thrive only in specific regions of North America, specifically the areas from New England to Minnesota and the Canadian provinces that border on those states. Some small maple forests may also be found as far south as Kentucky and Virginia. In short the maple industry covers the northeast quarter of the North American continent. As a result, other regions know very little about the difference between pure maple syrup and imitation maple syrup that is found side by side in the grocery stores today. Always look at the ingredients. If there is none listed or if only pure maple syrup is listed then you have the best sweetener nature has given us. If there are ingredients listed other than pure maple syrup, put it back! It is not the pure maple syrup that is so great on your pancakes!
Color is an important factor in grading and classifying maple syrup. The top grade is Light Amber and is very pale in color with a mild maple flavor. Most people who are not real maple syrup connoisseurs do not like this grade as much as the next two grades. Medium Amber is a little darker in color than the light amber, but still has a mild flavor. Dark Amber is, of course, a little darker yet, but is not so dark that you cannot see through it and is fairly light compared to commercial. Dark and Medium Amber are the two most popular. They are flavorful, but not too over powering like the commercial grade. Finally, commercial grade syrup is anything darker than dark amber. It has a very strong flavor and is almost too dark to see though. It is great for cooking and for flavoring, but many feel it is too strong a flavor for pancakes. Each of these grades of syrup are made the same way. The time of season the syrup was made or the condition of the sap collected will cause these variations in grade. We, at Anderson's Maple Syrup, Inc., make sure that our Grade A syrups are always between Medium and Dark Amber in color.
Thank you for visiting our web site and if you have any questions please call or write. If you would like further information about maple syrup "The North American Maple Syrup Producers Manuel" and "Sweet Maple" are two books that have great information about the maple syrup industry and its stories. They can be purchased on our web site.