Making maple taffy on snow

ZENON PARK— Zenon Park youth got a chance to try a batch of maple taffy on snow at an annual tradition at the École Notre-Dame-des-Vertus winter carnival.

Louis Arthur Leblanc and Sylvia Dion have been volunteering as the taffy cooks for the carnival for the past several years.

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“That’s part of the carnival,” Leblanc said. “In Quebec they used to go to sugar shacks, and we kept the tradition here in Zenon Park. Every year we do have that and the kids love it.”

Leblanc said the students in the community come to expect it the sweet treat each year.

“You put it on the snow, then you use a popsicle stick and you just twist it and it makes a little popsicle.”

To make it yourself, Leblanc said you bring a batch of maple syrup to a boil at 118 to 180 Celsius. The amount of time for it to prepare can vary, but it should contain a consistency that allows it to stick to the snow and be rolled.

For the carnival, they cooked half a gallon to a time, which took 40 minutes. A small batch can be prepared in 20 minutes or less.

For the snow, they used clean snow from a field that they scooped up and put in containers in the freezer. Once the taffy was ready, they brought back out the snow for the treat before it hardened.

A tray of the snow was kept on hand for the cooking, to test the taffy’s stickiness throughout the process.  

Leblanc said if someone hasn’t had maple taffy on snow, they have to try it.

“You have to taste it, it’s pure sugar.”

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