True to its flag, Canada is the world’s leading producer of Grilled Plums with Yogourt & Spiced Maple Syrup. It takes precise conditions to create great syrup, but thankfully producers do all the hard work. By the time the sweet stuff arrives at your local Sobeys store, including it in your favourite recipes is easy.
The indigenous peoples of North America first tapped maple trees, with early European settlers quickly following suit. Cold winters, followed by long thaws with warm days and freezing nights — like the springtime weather in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario — get the sap flowing.
Modern maple syrup farmers still wait for spring’s first thaw to drill holes into maple trees and insert spouts, often connecting several trees to a tubing system which funnels sap directly to a sugar shack. Over the years, metal and plastic equipment have replaced wooden spigots, birch baskets and iron kettles, but one thing remains the same: it still takes approximately 40 litres of maple sap to produce a single litre of maple syrup. Sap is processed the same day it’s collected, then boiled in large metal evaporators to concentrate sugars and remove water. The resulting syrup is then filtered and graded.
Look for different colours of maple syrup, each with its own taste profile:
- Golden: With a delicate taste of maple.
- Amber: The rich taste makes it a perfect pancake topper.
- Dark: Robust in taste, it works well in baking and cooking.
- Very Dark: Characterized by its strong taste.
For more information on colour classes, visit the Maple Product Regulations
Cooking with maple syrup
Maple syrup is delicious drizzled over pancakes, waffles and French toast, but its unique flavour also adds a sweet taste to other dishes.
Maple syrup is a natural accompaniment to cheeses, nuts and fruits. Brush it over goat cheese and crackers or try it on our Warm Brie Topped with Dried Fruit, Pecans & Coconut.
Vinaigrettes need a sweetener for balance, and maple syrup is a one-to-one substitute for other liquid sweeteners, such honey. Maple syrup and Dijon are a pleasing duo in both this Maple Vinaigrette and Quinoa Salad with Basil.
This Roasted Maple Salmon & Brussels Sprouts recipe takes advantage of the classic maple-salmon combo, but maple syrup is great brushed on other meats and seafood, too. It creates a gorgeous finish for Maple Glazed Scallops.
Boost the natural sweetness of vegetables with a drizzle of syrup. Toss it with Brussels sprouts and olive oil before roasting or try our Maple-Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables and Corn on the Cob with Maple Ginger Butter.
Swap maple syrup for honey in your favourite herbal teas, or use it to sweeten smoothies, iced teas and cocktails. Maple syrup can even be used in place of sugar for a very Canadian latte.