Palm Syrup - Production in The Canary Islands

Production in The Canary Islands

Most guarapo and miel de palma production occurs in the municipality of Vallehermoso on La Gomera. The process of collecting sap from the palm and concentrating it into syrup is similar in many ways to the process used for maple syrup.

The sap, known as guarapo (see also Garapa) is collected from a bowl-shaped depression cut into the crown of the tree. As guarapo spoils quickly in sunlight, the harvesting is done overnight. Every evening during the harvesting season, the guarapero (farmer) prepares each tree. He climbs to the top of the tree, often using a ladder, uses a sharp knife or chisel to trim the bowl to remove surface crust and open the pores, and hoists a bucket into place beneath a pipe or channel leading from the bowl. Early the next morning, he returns and collects the filled buckets, containing ten or more litres from each tree.

The harvested guarapo is then brought to, or collected by, a local processing plant, or may be processed on site. Processing involves boiling the guarapo for several hours until it is reduced by about 90% to a dark brown syrup that is rich and sweet. It is then packaged, typically in glass jars. Palm syrup will tend to thicken and crystallize over time.

After about four to five months of being harvested every day, during the period January to June, a tree needs five years to recuperate before it is used again.

Read more about this topic:  Palm Syrup

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