The Canadian Maple syrup, also known as “liquid gold” in Canada, is a popular natural sweetener made by collecting xylem sap from sugar maple trees and then boiling it until the water evaporates, leaving a smooth, sugary syrup which is then filtered to remove its impurities.
The history of the production of Maple Syrup in Canada dates back to the late 1700s and early 1800s, long before the arrival of European settlers. Indigenous people residing in the northeastern part of North America were the first to produce Canadian Maple Syrup and sugar. The Anishinaabe started calling the sugaring season of maple syrup “maple moon” or “sugar month,”; and the tradition has been followed since then.
7 Interesting Facts About Canadian Maple Syrup
Here are some of the interesting facts about Canadian Maple Syrup.
1. The National Maple Syrup Day
The National Maple Syrup Day is celebrated every year on December 17 in Canada. On this day, they follow a tradition of drinking fresh and natural maple syrup by mixing it up into tea, coffee, smoothies, or hot chocolates, because drinking maple syrup is actually healthy for our body.
Since the day is close to Christmas, one can even enjoy the day by visiting places like Quebec and Vermont; a nice way to spend their Christmas holidays!
2. The Largest Producer Of Maple Syrup
Canada is known as the largest producer of maple syrup in the world, and around 70% that is approximately 7,989,000 gallons of the world’s maple syrup supply comes from Quebec; a province in Canada near Vermont that produces approximately 890,000 gallons of maple syrup each year; followed by Ontario, New York, and Maine.
3. The Production Of Maple Syrup
The sweet and organic Maple syrup was highly valued by the Indigenous people of North America, including that from eastern Woodlands, much before the arrival of the European settlers. They started producing Canadian Maple syrup long back in the 18th century.
The pure Canadian Maple syrup is produced by extracting the xylem sap from various maple tree species that store starch in their trunks and roots, which gets converted into sugar and rise in the sap during the late winter and spring season, also called the maple sugaring season. The tree sap, then collected by drilling holes in the maple trunk, is further processed to produce the natural maple syrup.
Maple syrup is used in making other products like maple sugar, maple butter, maple liquor, soaps, and also as a condiment or sweetener for pancakes, waffles, and porridge.
4. Different Grades Of the Canadian Maple Syrup
Although all pure Canadian maple syrup comes with a grade “A,” they can be categorized into various types based on their color, clarity, density, and flavor;
1. Golden Color with Delicate Flavor
It is of a lighter density than the other forms, usually made at the beginning of the new maple season, graded as “Fancy” or “Vermont Fancy.” This type of maple syrup is traditionally paired with pancakes or waffles or drizzled with rich dairy products and on vanilla ice cream!
2. Amber Color with Rich Flavor
Often considered best for cooking and baking, this grade of maple syrup is a little bit more tasteful and is equally good over pancakes, waffles, and cocktails. This type of maple syrup is usually made mid-season and is well suited for almost all purposes of the syrup.
3. Dark Color with Robust Flavor
With its dark color and robust flavor, this grade is best for baking and cooking food that requires heavy maple flavor. This grade pairs best with foods having spicy flavors.
4. Very Dark Color with Strong Flavor
Produced at the end of the season, this maple flavor is the strongest of all. It is also equally good for cooking, baking, and producing maple-flavored candies.
5. The International Maple Syrup Institute
The International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), founded in 1975, is a legal organization aimed at promoting and protecting organizations producing Pure Maple Syrup and other Pure Maple Products. The organization acts on behalf of the maple industry and identifies the various issues affecting the interests and the economic viability of its various sectors.
North America’s maple producers, maple producing associations, maple product manufacturers, packers, and exporters form the membership of the IMSI. This active forum advances ideas to develop the industry and acts as an advocate for the government.
It also looks after the rights of the small, local, and rural maple forest farmers across the area that produce pure and natural maple syrup.
6. Benefits Of Canadian Maple Syrup
Pure Canadian maple syrup is highly rich in vitamins and minerals, including the 24 natural antioxidants that reduce the damage caused by free radicals and prevent our body from various chronic diseases.
a) Highly Rich in Nutrients
The pure Canadian maple syrup is rich in vitamins and minerals, approximately 110 calories per serving (2 tablespoons), and is also a good source of manganese and riboflavin.
Scientists are convinced that more than 67 different plant compounds are found in the Canadian maple syrup, nine unique and only found in pure maple syrup.
Pure maple syrup is also excellent calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron source.
b)Helps in Preventing Harmful Diseases
The antioxidants and nutrients in maple syrup help fight inflammatory bowel problems, arthritis, and heart disease. This is because of the supply of inflammation-reducing polyphenol antioxidants, which are considered healthy for our diet. The maple syrup’s plant-based compounds also strengthen our immunity system by reducing oxidative stress.
c) An Alternative to Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes may be calorie-free but can lead to multiple health problems, fatigue, weight gain, brain tumors, and many other health hazards. In addition to this, an underlying or existing disease can worsen by repetitive intake of these artificial sweeteners over time.
Unlike these artificial sweeteners, maple syrup is a plant-based natural sweetener free from all these health problems and thus a good replacement.
d) Highly Rich in Antioxidants
Pure Canadian maple syrup is rich in about 24 natural antioxidants, such as benzoic acid, gallic acid, cinnamic acid, and various other flavonols, that neutralize free radicals in our body cells and reduce the damage caused by oxidation.
e) Maple Syrup and Skin Health
The naturally made maple syrup is good for our skin and relieves inflammation, dryness, redness, pimples, and other skin problems. Like honey, maple syrup can also be applied directly to our skin or combined with other ingredients like yogurt and raw milk.
7. Pancakes To Wafers, Few Magical Ways To Use The Canadian Maple Syrup For Cooking!
From cooking delicious main courses to appetizers and desserts, only a few ingredients are termed as versatile as maple syrup.
Spice up your cooking with the all-natural maple syrup, a great ingredient that goes well with all dishes, such as glazes, rubs, or barbecue sauce with seafood, poultry, meat, vegetables, fresh fruits, or desserts.
Here are some cooking tips and delicious recipes to try at home.
a) Mango Smoothie with Maple
- 1 1/2 cup peeled and diced mango (fresh or frozen)
- 1 1/2 cup fresh tofu
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pure Canadian maple syrup
- 2/3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 tablespoon ground cardamom
- Put the mango, tofu, and yogurt in a blender and blend until it has a smooth texture.
- Add the remaining ingredients (soy milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and cardamom) and blend for a few more minutes.
- Serve with fresh fruits, and now you are ready to enjoy!
b) Maple Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup from Canada
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lemon (cut in half)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Maple Glaze or Gravy
- 1/2 cup pure Canadian maple syrup
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken and place it in a clear bowl.
- Mix all the ingredients in the bowl, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and salt, and cover the chicken with it. Put a lid to cover and let it refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to approximately 400° F.
- Drain the marination mixture and cover the chicken with salt, turmeric, and pepper.
- Turn over the chicken every 10 to 15 minutes, and roast it until the skin turns crispy and the juices clear over it.
- In a small pan, add pure Canadian maple syrup, cinnamon, fennel, salt, and water as per requirement, and cook it for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir well until it turns soft and the mixture has thickened a bit.
- Stir the gravy well and roast the chicken well until it is reduced by half, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- The chicken shall rest in the pan for a few more minutes until the juices run off clear.
- Garnish it well with coriander, salt, and pepper. The food is now ready to serve!
c) Wholegrain Maple Pancake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Salt (as required)
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoon pure Canadian maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Combine the all-purpose flour, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a clean bowl.
- In another separate bowl, pour in milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract, and whisk them together.
- Stir it to mix well and refrigerate the mixture for 10-15 minutes
- Pour 1/2 cup batter into the pan and cook it until bubbles start forming on the surface. Flip it over and continue cooking for a few more minutes until brown and cooked well.
- Repeat the same with the remaining batter, adding oil to the pan as and when needed,
- Set a pan or pot on medium heat, and warm the remaining maple syrup
- Arrange the pancakes on a large white plate along with some finely chopped fruits, berries, or grapes.
- Finally, serve the pancakes with maple syrup.