Happy National Maple Syrup Day!
Time to relish in the thick amber liquid known to make any stack of pancakes, French toast, oatmeal and just about anything else absolutely delicious. While any day in Canada could arguably be a tribute to the sweet syrup, Dec. 17 is America’s day to indulge in one of the most delectable wonders of the world.
While it may not come as a surprise that Canada supplies 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup or “liquid gold,” it may be news that the sugary liquid is full of health benefits. The syrup, which is made from tapping maple trees, contains sucrose, a natural sweetener, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients not found in corn syrup.
It may have been these hidden benefits that drove thieves to steal $18 million worth of the maple syrup from a reserve in Quebec last year. About one-tenth of the province’s annual production -- or 6 million pounds of syrup -- was siphoned from barrels stored at a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. The heist, one of the largest in agricultural history, got Hollywood’s attention with talks of it becoming a feature film.
Americans do enjoy the sugary syrup. An average person consumes three ounces of maple syrup a year, with 6.4 percent of the U.S. population incorporating the liquid into their regular diet. These people may not be as extreme as characters like Leslie Knope from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” who famously pours syrup onto her waffles whenever she can; the Super Troopers clan that chugged the stuff; and Buddy the Elf who put maple syrup on just about anything -- but they do appreciate a good maple glazed breakfast item when they see it.
For those that wish to partake in National Maple Syrup Day festivities, below are five ways to get the most out of the golden liquid this holiday season:
Yes, you read right. Forget the traditional stack of pancakes, instead give your bacon some maple loving by glazing it with a mixture of maple syrup, Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Learn more here.
More like a maple cream, the concoction involves heating maple syrup to a boil, cooled and stirred until it becomes smooth spread. Learn more here.
Maple Syrup Pie
Pick up a bottle of dark amber maple syrup for this recipe, which also includes brown sugar, heavy cream and butter. Top it off with crème fraiche to make it an even more memorable dessert. Learn more here.
Maple Cream Fudge
For those that want to get on a sugar high fast, maple cream fudge should be your candy of choice. Combine maple syrup, corn syrup, heavy cream and butter in three simple steps to create a pan of maple fudge that might make it until dinnertime. Learn more here.
Tire Sur La Neige
If you want to indulge in a typical Canadian tradition, nothing says maple syrup more than tire (pronounced teer). What can be best described as maple syrup taffy, the delicious treat, famously made in Quebec, involves pouring boiling maple syrup over fresh snow then using popsicle sticks to roll it up and eat it. While the recipe sounds simple, it can be dangerous. If you have a chance, go to the experts at sugar shacks in Quebec, Canada, to get the full experience.