Canada! A VIA Rail train car leaving Edmonton for Jasper (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Canada! A VIA Rail train car leaving Edmonton for Jasper (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

If your latitude is far enough to the north, it’s still maple sugaring time. The sap to make that delicious syrup is still flowing through the trees, and once the syrup is made, you can create all sorts of food with it, even a simple candy when it’s chilled.

I loved experiencing the process at the Silver Skate Festival in the city of Edmonton, Alberta, thanks to a Les Bucherons Sugar Shack (Cabane A Sucre.)

You start with a trough of ice, as seen below….

Where's the maple syrup? At Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Where’s the maple syrup? At Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Everyone has a wooden stick ready to go once they’re lined up. One of the Les Bucherons helpers moves quickly to pour a stream of liquid syrup down the ice trough….

Pouring the maple syrup to make candy at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Pouring the maple syrup to make candy at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

It sits there all translucent and amber, but now you must wait just a few seconds for the chill of the ice and cold air to start to harden the syrup. Then you gently dab your stick into the ice and syrup, rolling it back and forth….

Just after pouring maple syrup to make candy at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Just after pouring maple syrup to make candy at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Dab, roll, dab, roll….

Making maple syrup candy in ice at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Making maple syrup candy in ice at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

This is what my candy stick looked like; it needed to harden a bit more but I was like everyone else and started biting into it immediately. Yum!

Maple sugar candy on a stick at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Maple sugar candy on a stick at the Silver Skate Festival in Edmonton Alberta (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

This was one of the reasons that I really enjoyed Silver Skate; lots of simple but fun demonstrations, all for free, that made me appreciate the joys of being outdoors in the winter (despite my lack of properly insulated snow boots.)

Here’s a video from one of the Festival attendees that shows the whole thing….direct link to the video if you can’t see the embed box.

(Disclosure: I was a guest of Tourism Edmonton and Travel Alberta, but Silver Skate is an annual event that is free and open to anyone.)

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I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. NHRA drag racing fan. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.