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Maple Syrup

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Preview of Maple Syrup

Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

N/A - N/A

What could be more Canadian than maple syrup? Production of maple syrup and maple sugar in Ontario is worth about $15 million annually. Local producers sell about 1 million litres of maple syrup each year, making Ontario the fourth largest producer in the world after Quebec, Vermont, and New York State. The United States is Canada’s best customer when it comes to maple products—81% of exports go south of the border.  

 

History

 

American Indians taught the European settlers how to tap maple trees and collect the sap. Back then, sap was often boiled until it crystallized and could be moulded into blocks of maple sugar. The sugar was easier to store than syrup, and portions could be broken off or shaved as needed long after the season had ended. The sugar was mixed with grains, berries and bear fat to make a high energy food, or dissolved in water to make a sweet beverage. The ability to make sugar in your own backyard was a major selling point in the campaign to convince Europeans to start a new life in North America.

 

Storage

 

Unopened maple sugar, syrup, or butter should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as the refrigerator or freezer. The flavour of maple products is best preserved over long periods when they are stored in a deep freezer. Be sure to cover opened products tightly and store them in the refrigerator.  

 

Nutritional Information

 

Unlike corn syrup or commercial white sugar, graded maple syrup and sugar are all-natural products that do not contain additives or preservatives. Just one tablespoon of maple syrup provides 33% of our daily manganese requirements, an important mineral for antioxidative reactions in the body, as well as 6% of our zinc needs.

 

One tablespoon of maple syrup provides 52 calories, 0g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 0g dietary fibre and 0g protein.

 

Maple Syrup Grades

 

All maple syrup sold in Canada must be graded. Syrups fall into three categories, primarily based on colour. The lightest coloured sap (Extra Light class) comes early in the season and has the most delicate maple flavour. When daylight increases and temperatures warm, the concentration of sugars and other components change. Syrup made from this sap takes on a darker colour and stronger flavour (Light to Amber classes). Syrup that falls into the Dark class can only be sold for commercial use, as its flavour and colour are less desirable than the higher classes.

 

Use Maple Syrup as a Substitute for Other Sweeteners

 

Maple syrup provides a unique flavour and natural alternative to commercial sweeteners. It can be used as a substitute for any sweetener such as corn syrup, honey, molasses, and sugar. To replace sugar, use a quantity of syrup equal to the quantity of sugar called for in the recipe. However, for every 250 millilitres (1 cup) of sugar replaced, reduce by 60 millilitres (1/4 cup) the quantity of liquid (milk, water, or juice) required.