Maple makes its mark: While the legends may vary, it is widely accepted that the Native American tribes around the St Lawrence river were the first to harvest and use maple sap as a food, and passed on this knowledge to the European settlers who started arriving on their shores towards the end of the 15th century. Jacques Cartier, the French explorer who landed on the eastern shores of Canada around 1540, first observed the North American maple trees while exploring the St Lawrence river, which flows northeast across Canadian provinces including Quebec before draining into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Atlantic ocean.
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