I have fond childhood memories of family vacations when we would have breakfast at a motel or hotel restaurant and there would always be cute little jars or bottles of maple syrup, jellies, and jams on the tables. I would always order pancakes, waffles, or French toast just so I could use all the syrup and save the cute little bottle!

How much do you know about maple syrup? I thought I knew a lot, but I discovered that I really didn’t! I found some good information about maple syrup on a Cornell University site. Let’s pour over some of the info.

What is maple syrup?

Maple syrup is a 100% natural product made from the sap of maple trees. It is a pure product and contains no additives or preservatives. In the late winter and early spring, during periods of overnight freezes and daytime thaws, maple trees develop positive pressure in their stems. During this time, sap is collected from maple trees and concentrated to a high sugar content to make a light to dark brown syrup.

Where is maple syrup made?

Did you know that New York is the second largest maple syrup producing U.S. state, surpassed only by Vermont? Wow, I never knew that! It’s produced in the region of North America ranging from southeastern Canada to Pennsylvania and from the East Coast to Wisconsin.

What’s your preference when it comes to syrup? Many people prefer artificial [pancake] syrup over pure maple syrup. Pure maple syrup is definitely pricier than the artificial kind.

Do you buy maple syrup on a regular basis, whether real or artificial? Let me know in the comment section, I would love to hear from you!

A variety of uses

The most common use for maple syrup is to put it on breakfast foods such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast, but this syrup can be used in so many different ways.

Here are some ideas for different uses of the syrup from Rural Sprout:

  • Top roasted veggies with it – mix melted butter and maple syrup together then brush your veggies.
  • Make maple preserves – the flavor pairs well with figs, apples, and strawberries.
  • Make homemade salad dressings- it adds a bit of sweetness and flavor to dressing.
  • Bake with it – you can replace all or some of the sugar in any baking recipe with maple syrup.
  • Make a glaze for donuts, scones, cakes, and cookies.
  • Use as a marinade for meat and fish – the warm flavor goes great on baked ham, pork tenderloin, salmon, and chicken.

Fun facts

Check out these interesting facts from the Farmers Almanac.

– A maple tree can yield sap (used for making syrup) for 100 years.
– A maple tree must be around 45 years old before it is tapped for syrup making.
– It takes an average of 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.
– Although maple trees are found in other continents, no other continent’s maples can compare in sweetness to the sugar maple trees in North America.
– Frosty nights and warm sunny days encourage the sap to flow.
– When buds appear on the trees, in late March or April, the sap turns bitter in flavor.
– Quebec, Canada is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and responsible for three-quarters of the world’s output–approximately $141 million USD annually.

For NCP Panel Members

If you purchase maple syrup, whether pure or artificial, be sure to scan it! And, don’t forget the other items you might buy to go with the syrup such as pancake/waffle mixes, frozen breakfast foods such as waffles, pancakes, and French toast, sausage, etc.

Have a sweet day!


More from NCP

Baking Holiday Memories (December 7, 2023)

Breakfast in your Freezer (January 27, 2023)

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