メープルシロップ博物館に行ってみました

StJacobs_TheMill

トロントからクルマで約1時間半。先週末に、セント・ジェイコブスという閑静な街を訪れてみました。この街にはおおきなマーケットがあり、週末になると大勢の人が新鮮野菜を求めてやってくることで有名ですが、今日はこぢんまりとしたダウンタウンの一角にある「メープルシロップ博物館」に入ってみました。

StJacobs_Gallery

この博物館はれんが造りの「THE MILL(冒頭の写真)」と呼ばれる大きな建物の3階にあって、フロアに到着するとキルトの展示と左右が分かれて併設となっています(2014年3月現在)。

StJacobs_Maple01

StJacobs_Maple02

コンパクトなフロアには、過去から現在にいたるメープルシロップ生産の様子がわかる様々な展示やビデオ上映、さらにはシュガーシャックと呼ばれるメープルシロップを煮詰める小屋も再現されています。

StJacobs_Maple03

これは「SPILES」と呼ばれる金具で、メープルの木に穴を開け、シロップを取り出すための管。昔はこのようにしてポタリポタリとシロップが垂れてくるのをバケツで受けるという方法で取り出されていました。

StJacobs_Maple04

バケツが一杯になると、こうした器具の中で煮詰められ、濃度に合わせてシロップが完成するという流れです。ちなみに火力は薪。森の中で取ってくるんだそうです。。
現在はバケツでの採取ではなくブルーのパイプラインを使い効率的に行われているのですが、自宅にメープルの木がある方は未だにこうした方法で自家製メープルシロップを作っている家庭もあるのだとか。古き良きカナディアン・ライフを思い起こさせる風景が満載です。

StJacobs_Maple05

毎年春の訪れとともに生産されるメープルシロップ。こうしてさまざまな瓶に詰められて、家庭に届けられて行くのですね。

詳細は:
http://www.stjacobs.com/exhibits-galleries

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