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by Evelyn Reid
Originally published on About.com
March 11, 2015

You Can Eat Your Taffy
Like a Slick, Seasoned Pro,
Or You Can Ruin
EVERYTHING

When winter winds down in Quebec, a Canadian stereotype takes hold of the province. I dub it the sampling of the syrup. Favorite sampling style? Hot taffy. On ice cold snow.

Now there's a right way to do this. And there's a wrong way. My last sugar shack experience spelled that out loud and clear.

Photo by Flickr user lazy_artist (CC BY NC-ND 2.0)

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Don't #1: The Hog

WRONG.

Ten people watch the taffy being poured. One person swoops in and scoops half.

Photo © Evelyn Reid (all rights reserved)

Image is not available
Don't #2: The Finger

Hot taffy? Meet finger. The one with the pain receptors. 

Granted, said taffy might cool down enough to be safe by the time your grubby digits poke it and roll it up off the snow, but think of the cooties. Your cooties.

They just touched the golden goo. The communal golden goo. That's like sticking your finger in the veggie dip. Or a freshly baked apple pie. No, my tiny grasshopper. Not like this. There's a better way.

Use a wooden stick. Perhaps a metal spoon. But whatever is used to dip into the taffy, it must be clean and not a bodily appendage. 

Repeat after me: no body parts in the taffy! Save that kink for the bedroom.

Photo by Flickr user jaimew (CC BY 2.0)

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Don't #3: The Lick


The swoop should be swift and confident, followed by a sharp roll moving upwards, always upwards, avoiding contact with adjacent unscooped taffy and virgin snow. Then you feast.


Should one double dip? Unless extensively experienced, I say no. Respect surrounding taffy, respect surrounding snow, and all shalt reap their cootie-free benefits, which brings me to my next Maple Taffy Don’t. 

The good news is maple taffy on snow is not always communal. Some sugar shacks pour one long row of taffy and it's a free for all. Yet others pour individual servings. But even then, single serving pools of taffy can be so close to each other that a failed roll and scoop can drop all over surrounding portions. 


Hot taffy manipulation is an art, you see. 


Once the piping hot liquid gold cools on contact with the snow, you use a clean stick or spoon to scoop up a respectable amount.

Photo © Evelyn Reid (all rights reserved)

Image is not available
Don't #4: The Sanctity of the Snow

One must take care when collecting fresh snow for maple taffy spreadage.

Fresh, white, just fallen ice crystals are what you're after and they must be gathered up not using a pair of grubby gloves or mittens, but with a clean ladle.

You see, maple taffy snow is pure. Maple taffy snow is sacred. 

Even then, it's difficult to control for pollutants and dust particles—mind you, try controlling for that breathing in city air—but does the snow at least look clean?

It's a start.

Photo by Pixabay user Jarmoluk (CC0 1.0)

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Don't #4: The Sanctity of
the Snow (Cont'd)

If new, sterile sticks are used for every round, one can get away with using the same snow. Obviously.

But using the same sticks over and over in the same small plot of snow? You might as well lick your finger and stick it up my nose.

I don't get paid sick days. Do you? Getting the flu is a luxury in my world that equates with instant income loss. So when I saw sugar shack staff keep the SAME snow in place for another round of hot taffy, and then another, this, after pint-sized minions licked it clean with clumsy double and triple dips using the same slurped-up sticks, nausea took over. No snow change? At all?

Sacrilege.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Library and Archives Canada (CC BY 2.0)

Image is not available
Don't #5: The Child

I love maple taffy. LOVE. But the last time I had access to unlimited hot maple taffy on snow, I ate exactly none of it as I swallowed a gulp of revulsion in its place.

Do you want to know why?

Don't #4 had something to do with it. But the sugar shack's less-than-pristine-looking snow wouldn't have been so hygienically revolting IF the parents on location WERE WATCHING THEIR KIDS.

Happy, beautiful children scooping up golden goo with reckless abandon. Joyous, innocent offspring slobbering all over their sticks ready for a second go. And a third. With the same stick.

Photo by Flickr user Amy Bundy (CC BY NC 2.0)

Image is not available
Don't #5: The Child (Cont'd)

They tried a scoop here, but oops, it didn't take, contaminated taffy spoiling on the snow, sweet blobs of lost opportunity.

Then they repeated their failed enterprise on a different section there, leaving another pile of tainted taffy clumping and congealing on what was once a fresh, untouched sector of syrupy goodness, blesmishing all of the above with bug-laden spit envelopping their reused sticks.

These precious fruits of adult loins knew not of the skill required for double dippage. Nor did they care, a minefield of mucked maple left in their wake.

Unless. Was it a ploy to keep grownups like me away from the prized saccharine?

Well played, children. Well played.

Photo by Flickr user Amy Bundy (CC BY NC 2.0)

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You Can Eat Your Taffy Like a Slick, Seasoned Pro, Or You Can Ruin EVERYTHING

by Evelyn Reid

Originally published on About.com March 15, 2015

Photo by Flickr user lazy_artist (CC BY NC-ND 2.0)

When winter winds down in Quebec, a Canadian stereotype takes hold of the province. I dub it the sampling of the syrup. Favorite sampling style? Hot taffy. On ice cold snow.

Now there’s a right way to do this. And there’s a wrong way. My last sugar shack experience spelled that out loud and clear.

Don’t #1: The Hog

Photo © Evelyn Reid (all rights reserved)

Ten people watch the taffy being poured. One person swoops in and scoops half.

WRONG.

Don’t #2: The Finger

Photo by Flickr user jaimew (CC BY 2.0)

Hot taffy? Meet finger. The one with the pain receptors. Granted, said taffy might cool down enough to be safe by the time your grubby digits poke it and roll it up off the snow, but think of the cooties. Your cooties.

They just touched the golden goo. The communal golden goo. That’s like sticking your finger in the veggie dip. Or a freshly baked apple pie. No, my tiny grasshopper. Not like this. There’s a better way.

Use a wooden stick. Perhaps a metal spoon. But whatever is used to dip into the taffy, it must be clean and not a bodily appendage. Repeat after me: no body parts in the taffy! Save that kink for the bedroom.

Don’t #3: The Lick

Photo © Evelyn Reid (all rights reserved)

The good news is maple taffy on snow is not always communal. Some sugar shacks pour one long row of taffy and it’s a free for all. Yet others pour individual servings. But even then, single serving pools of taffy can be so close to each other that a failed roll and scoop can drop all over surrounding portions.

Hot taffy manipulation is an art, you see.

Once the piping hot liquid gold cools on contact with the snow, you use a clean stick or spoon to scoop up a respectable amount.

The swoop should be swift and confident, followed by a sharp roll moving upwards, always upwards, avoiding contact with adjacent unscooped taffy and virgin snow. Then you feast.

Should one double dip? Unless extensively experienced, I say no.

Respect surrounding taffy, respect surrounding snow, and all shalt reap their cootie-free benefits, which brings me to my next Maple Taffy Don’t.

Don’t #4: The Sanctity of the Snow

Photo by Pixabay user Jarmoluk (CC0 1.0)

One must take care when collecting fresh snow for maple taffy spreadage.

Fresh, white, just fallen ice crystals are what you’re after and they must be gathered up not using a pair of grubby gloves or mittens, but with a clean ladle.

You see, maple taffy snow is pure. Maple taffy snow is sacred.

Even then, it’s difficult to control for pollutants and dust particles—mind you, try controlling for that breathing in city air— but does the snow at least look clean? It’s a start.

If new, sterile sticks are used for every round, one can get away with using the same snow. Obviously. But the same sticks used over and over in the same small plot of snow? Hell no. You might as well lick your finger and stick it up my nose.

I don’t get paid sick days. Do you? Getting the flu is a luxury in my world that equates with instant income loss. So when I saw sugar shack staff keep the SAME snow in place for another round of hot taffy, and then another, this, after pint-sized minions licked it clean with clumsy double and triple dips using the same slurped-up sticks, nausea took over. No snow change? At all?

Sacrilege.

Don’t #5: The Child

Photo by Flickr user Amy Bundy (CC BY NC 2.0)

I love maple taffy. LOVE. But the last time I had access to unlimited hot maple taffy on snow, I ate exactly none of it as I swallowed a gulp of revulsion in its place.

Do you want to know why?

Don’t #4 had something to do with it. But the sugar shack’s less-than-pristine-looking snow wouldn’t have been so hygienically revolting IF the parents on location WERE WATCHING THEIR KIDS.

Happy, beautiful children scooping up golden goo with reckless abandon. Joyous, innocent offspring slobbering all over their sticks ready for a second go. And a third. With the same stick.

They tried a scoop here, but oops, it didn’t take, contaminated taffy spoiling on the snow, sweet blobs of lost opportunity.

Then they repeated their failed enterprise on a different section there, leaving another pile of tainted taffy clumping and congealing on what was once a fresh, untouched sector of syrupy goodness, blesmishing all of the above with bug-laden spit envelopping their reused sticks.

These precious fruits of adult loins knew not of the skill required for double dippage. Nor did they care, a minefield of mucked maple left in their wake.

Unless. Was it a ploy to keep grownups like me away from the prized saccharine?

Well played, children. Well played.