Savor Our Seasons: Maple Syrup

By Liza Drew, Keene State College Dietetic Intern

Flavorful Fact: The New Hampshire Maple Producers are planning a statewide sugar house open house for the weekend of March 24th and 25th.  Visit a local sugar house for a warm (and sweet) winter treat.

Though maple syrup only contains one ingredient (maple sap) making it is a tricky process. The timing is important as sap only flows when temperatures are above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. Also, because sap contains sugars and amino acids it can begin to ferment if it’s stored for too long giving the syrup an off-taste. As soon as buds appear on the trees, it’s time to stop collecting sap.

Boiling down the sap isn’t easy either and must be watched carefully so it doesn’t burn. However, one taste of warm sticky syrup and you will understand why it’s well worth the work.  I frequently use maple syrup in place of other sweeteners in cooking, and a bottle of syrup is a staple on my breakfast table.  No other syrup compares. Some call the imitation stuff “pole syrup” because it tastes like a phone pole was tapped. Try these recipes that highlight the unique flavor of our NH maple trees.

Try these Recipes: