National Maple Syrup Day & Canadian Maple Syrup Day

Photo by Nadine Primeau

Maple syrup has been favored in North America for hundreds of years. It’s widely produced in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Up until the 1930s, the United States led in maple syrup production. Canada leads the pack now. That seems rather appropriate, especially since the maple leaf is the national emblem.

From wherever you may hail, something special happens with you get your first taste of true maple syrup. Yum!

A favorite wintry childhood memory involves bubbly, hot maple syrup drizzled over mounds of clean, freshly fallen snow, forming maple syrup snow candy. If you have a candy thermometer, this is easy to make. Bring 1 c 100% pure maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan. When the thermometer reaches the “soft ball” stage, let it boil for 10 min. Then drizzle over the snow. (Slide a baking sheet underneath first, if desired.) It’s fun to watch it stiffen up and even more fun to munch away!


Oh, if the sweetness is a bit over-the-top for your taste buds, sprinkle the candies with some flaky sea salt immediately after pouring it into the snow. (You can peel hardened candy off the snow and eat it. Or roll it around popsicle sticks before it hardens to make a maple syrup pop.)

Fans of pancakes, waffles, and French toast know that warmed 100% pure maple syrup wins by miles over fake pancake syrups. But maple syrup is far more than a condiment. It’s also amazing over pan-fried apples or baked apples, in hot cereal, baked beans, or as an ice cream topping. Add it to butter in baked sweet potatoes or winter squash. Maple syrup makes a tasty glaze for ham or turkey or brushed on bacon while it cooks. It works in BBQ sauce, as a dip for chicken tenders, or mixed with balsamic vinegar and drizzled over baked or grilled salmon. It’s great for roasting veggies, like tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots, and parsnips. As a breakfast treat, drizzle maple syrup over of parfait made with sliced bananas, walnuts, and yogurt. Try maple syrup to flavor candied nuts, cake frosting, or whipped cream. Or slather some maple butter on your freshly baked dinner rolls, cinnamon buns, or hot biscuits. Peppered maple syrup is amazing over popcorn, too. And we must not forget the classic maple sugar candy.

Turn your favorite ham and cheese sandwich (with or without mustard) into a Monte Cristo by dipping the sandwich in 1 egg, beaten with 2 T milk or cream and a healthy dash of ground cinnamon. Then fry it up grilled cheese style in butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning once with a spatula to crisp up both sides. Serve it hot with warmed maple syrup for dipping. (You can also add sliced turkey along with the ham.)


Or just go ahead and fold your toasty waffle around some crispy bacon and eggs and pour on the syrup.

What!?! No eggs? Ok. Use bacon and sliced bananas and think of Elvis Presley songs.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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