Native Americans were the first to tap maple trees and collect its sap for syrup production. Traditionally, they would place the sap in a pot over fire, adding hot stones to it until the water had evaporated completely to leave behind golden syrup that they added to everything from vegetables to meat and fish dishes.
Today’s method of maple syrup production by larger producers is less romantic than the iconic metal taps and silver buckets, but the final result is no less alluring from a flavor perspective. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States with New York ranking second and Canada producing twice as much maple syrup than all of the American states combined.
Sap is ready for collecting when nighttime temperatures dip below freezing but daytime temperatures reach at least 40 degrees above zero. This enables the sap to expand as it freezes throughout the night, pushing out the sap through the tree’s tap as it thaws during the day.
Traditional maple syrup producers called maple trees sugaring bushes, hence the place where maple syrup is processed being called a sugaring house. Grades of maple syrup are based upon its color, which ranges from a light golden hue to a deep amber to its flavor, which begins as a gentle sugary syrup to a rich, robust flavor that so many of us can’t resist. Pancakes, anyone?
Just in time for fall, this salad celebrates the glory of the season with a bright, addictive salad whose elements are brought together by a drizzle of maple vinaigrette that comes together with the help of a Mason jar and shake of the wrist. Pecans and apples along with crispy bacon provide pleasing texture while cranberries and crumbled feta afford just the right amount of tanginess. Get the recipe.
There’s a tendency in the fall to think that because it’s root vegetable time it means that we have entered the season of deprivation. This clever recipe, in all its simplicity, proves that root vegetables are a thing to celebrate instead of merely tolerate. The maple miso glaze slathered over them before they’re roasted is what elevates this dish to a thing of autumn root vegetable beauty. Get the recipe.
This healthy recipe has just the right amount of sweetness with the addition of a luscious maple soy glaze that takes salmon from humdrum to extraordinary with a single swipe of the pastry brush. The sriracha adds heat and the garlic drives home the multidimensional flavors in this simple sauce that will become a go-to weekday night favorite. Get the recipe.
Shrimp is the ideal dancing partner for maple because their hint of sweet brininess complements the complex sugars of maple syrup so adeptly while the Dijon mustard adds a spark of heat. For a little more grilled drama, swap out the wooden skewers for sugarcane. Get the recipe.
It’s hard to believe how many incredible ingredients come together in this recipe that coaxes out the very best of each element to create alchemy in a pie plate. Bourbon and maple syrup were destined to be together and when combined with peaches and a buttery pecan streusel, there’s nothing else to call it but pure perfection. Get the recipe.
It’s hard to believe that this ultra-velvety strawberry ice cream has only four easy-to-source ingredients and does not require an ice cream maker. It’s a little frozen miracle with a vibrant pink hue and sweetness derived from maple syrup instead of sugar, making it healthier and tastier than the typical ice cream sugar bomb. Swap out the strawberries for your favorite berries if you prefer and fresh vanilla beans for the extract for even more irresistible flavor. Get the recipe.