Learn About Maple Syrup

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is the sap extracted from certain maple trees that originated from Canada and the United States.  Maple syrup is usually amber or golden-colored thin liquid, similar to the consistency of water.  There are four grades of maple syrup in the United States: Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust, and Very Dark Strong.  These grades refer to the color and taste of the maple syrup.

What Does Maple Syrup Taste Like?

Maple syrup tastes like a combination of vanilla and caramel.  It has a warm, complex flavor.  Different grades of maple syrup have different flavors.  Golden maple syrup has a softer, delicate taste compared to the strong taste of very dark maple syrup.

Maple syrup poured into a bowl.

How Do You Eat Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup can be eaten on its own, but it is usually used to top finished dishes or as a sweetener in other dishes.  Dishes frequently topped with maple syrup include pancakes, waffles, and french toast.  Maple syrup is used as a sweetener in cakes, cookies, and muffins.  It can be made into candies, caramels, glazes, and creams.  Maple syrup is commonly paired with bacon and chicken in savory dishes.

Where Can You Buy Maple Syrup?

Look for real maple syrup in the spice or baking aisle of grocery stores and farmers markets.  Specific grades may be harder to find, but they are usually found in health food stores.

How Do You Store Maple Syrup?

Store unopened containers of maple syrup in a cool, dry place for 1-2 years.  Opened containers of maple syrup should be refrigerated and will last 6-12 months.

Fun Facts About Maple Syrup

Real maple syrup won’t freeze.  Maple syrup may crystallize, like honey, because of the sugars in the syrup.

Did You Know?

It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Recipes Using Maple Syrup

Spice Cake

Maple syrup pairs well with warm spices. Prepare spice cake batter with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Bake in a bundt pan and cool. Make a maple glaze with maple syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Drizzle glaze over the cake before serving.

Easy Marinade

Maple syrup adds sweetness to meat marinades. In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add pork chops or chicken and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Bake meat until cooked.

Candied Bacon

Maple and bacon is a classic pairing used in savory and sweet cooking. Line bacon on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Coat bacon in maple syrup and return to the oven. Baste bacon every 5 to 6 minutes until the bacon is crispy.

Maple White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Revamp your regular chocolate chip cookie recipe. Make some minor adjustments to the regular recipe by adding maple syrup and less butter. Instead of chocolate chips, use a spatula to fold in white chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough onto a baking sheet and bake until cooked.

Cinnamon Maple Butter

Make a delicious butter perfect for toast, waffles, and biscuits. Using a hand mixer, whip softened butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla together. Serve immediately or chill until firm.


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