National Maple Syrup Day
National Maple Syrup Day is on December 17! This viscous yet delicious condiment that is just as versatile as it is tasty; people enjoy it drizzled over everything: from pancakes, to eggs, to salads, to barbecue, this sugary substance has more potential than some give it credit for. On December 17, pour away!
HISTORY OF NATIONAL MAPLE SYRUP DAY
The origins of the production of maple syrup can be traced back thousands of years to the northeastern region of the United States. There, it was first gleaned from the abundant maple tree population by indigenous peoples. While it is uncertain as to how and why exactly the extraction process first began, it is inarguable that maple sap became a key ingredient in a variety of dishes.
The arrival of European colonists would allow for the introduction of maple syrup to the Old World, and their love for the taste of the arboreal byproduct was matched by their appreciation for its utility. It was a popular substitute for cane sugar, as this had to be imported from the West Indies region, and its ability to exist in both liquid and crystallized form made it an ideal source for concentrated sugar. The colonists’ extraction methods differed from those of the indigenous peoples, and they would serve as the foundation for several subsequent iterations upon the process. Some maple trees may have even seen dozens of changes to the extraction procedures used upon them, as they can continue to be tapped for sap for more than 100 years!
Today, the consumption of maple syrup is no longer reserved for chieftains or special celebratory events. It is not only used across the world, but production chains have even sprung up in countries like Japan and South Korea. Canada now produces the vast majority of the world’s maple syrup supply with its total exports valued at more than $270 million. It may have happened at the rate of molasses, but maple syrup is now known (and loved) far beyond the pocket of the northeast.
NATIONAL MAPLE SYRUP DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Make Your Own!
You can find plenty of maple syrup tapping and processing kits online! Get out there, find a tree, and collect that liquid gold!
Head to the supermarket and pick up a few different kinds of maple syrup, take ‘em on home, and sample each over a silver dollar pancake to find out which of the many selections might be your favorite!
3.Lap up the local stuff
For those of you lucky enough to live in a state that produces maple syrup from native trees, get out and support your local maple syrup producers by buying a nice big jug of their finest batch!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL MAPLE SYRUP DAY
A. It pairs with more things than you can imagine
Sure, you’ve tried it on your pancakes, waffles, and french toast — but have you ever let maple syrup make its way to your bacon? Don’t just limit yourself to breakfast, though. Maple syrup makes an awesome glaze for all sorts of root vegetables, bringing out flavors you might have never noticed.
B. It’s a food worth stealing
There aren’t many foods that would seem worthwhile to stage a heist around. But with barrels of maple syrup valued at over a thousand dollars each, it’s easy to see why a truckload might be worth a boatload of cash.
C. It’s full of sugar
While you might be wise to brush your teeth after having those maple syrup-soaked pancakes, it’s hard not to love something that’s mostly sugar!
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