The Culinary Institute of America

Sweet Project for Students at The Culinary Institute of America: Maple Syrup from Tree to Jug

Professor Peter Greweling (in sunglasses) is joined by students in the CIA's Food Ecology course (from left) Brian Shickle, Joonho Jun, and Kristin McGinn in harvesting sap from maple trees on campus
The sap harvested from maple trees and made into syrup by faculty and students at The Culinary Institute of America came from trees near student housing on the college's Hyde Park, NY campus
Professor Deirdre Murphy taps into a maple tree on the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus in late March 2014. This first-time effort by students and faculty yielded about four gallons of maple syrup
Real Hudson Valley maple syrup produced by students and faculty at The Culinary Institute of America will be incorporated into desserts at the campus restaurants and used in classes
 

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager
845-451-1372
j_levine@culinary.edu

Hyde Park, NY – While many college students were tapping kegs on their spring break, some students at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY were tapping trees in March. These students—from Chef Peter Greweling's Chocolate and Confectionery Technology and Techniques class and Dr. Deirdre Murphy's Ecology of Food bachelor's degree course—volunteered to take part in harvesting sap to make maple syrup at the college for the first time.

Using 16 maple trees on the north side of campus, the students assisted Professors Greweling and Murphy with each step of the process, including tapping, collecting the sap, boiling, straining, testing, and bottling the syrup. "It is pretty miraculous to watch the nearly clear, barely sweet sap transform into rich, sweet syrup through the process of evaporation," says Greweling.

After an abnormally long and harsh winter, tree tapping late in the season produced syrup that is darker and has a stronger flavor than what most people are used to, Chef Greweling said. It can take up to 50 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. The four gallons of syrup produced this year will be used in Chef Greweling's class and incorporated into desserts at the CIA's restaurants on campus.

For next year's syrup season, he hopes to have an outdoor "sugar shack" set up for boiling the sap right from the tree.

"Making maple syrup is a natural fit for our students; it is as much an ingrained part of the culture of the Hudson Valley as making wine is in California," said Chef Greweling, who is seeking to use this experience to develop an undergraduate course at the CIA that will include the history, culture, and technology of maple syrup.


Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images

Photo 1: Professor Peter Greweling (in sunglasses) is joined by students in The Culinary Institute of America's Food Ecology course (from left) Brian Shickle, Joonho Jun, and Kristin McGinn in harvesting sap from maple trees on the college's Hyde Park, NY campus in late March 2014. (Photo credit: CIA/Marc Haymon)
View hi-res image >

Photo 2: The sap harvested from maple trees and made into syrup by faculty and students at The Culinary Institute of America came from trees near student housing on the college's Hyde Park, NY campus. (Photo credit: CIA/Marc Haymon)
View hi-res image >

Photo 3: Professor Deirdre Murphy taps into a maple tree on The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus in late March 2014. This first-time effort by students and faculty yielded about four gallons of maple syrup. (Photo credit: CIA/Marc Haymon)
View hi-res image >

Photo 4: Real Hudson Valley maple syrup produced by students and faculty at The Culinary Institute of America will be incorporated into desserts at the campus restaurants and used in classes. (Photo credit: CIA/Marc Haymon)
View hi-res image >


Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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