What’s the first flavor that comes to mind when you think of fall? Okay, it’s probably pumpkin spice, but definitely second or third is maple syrup. Sweet, rich and buttery, the warm notes of real maple syrup pair deliciously with both sweet and savory dishes. Keep reading for our favorite maple facts, tricks and recipes so you can bring more mouthwatering maple to mealtime.
Real Maple Syrup vs. Pancake Syrup
Despite what you may think, maple syrup and pancake syrup are NOT the same. Real maple syrup is tapped from maple trees mid-winter by drilling a small hole in the trunk attached to a tap. Once the sap has been extracted, the water is removed and the remaining liquid is filtered into the maple syrup we know and love. Pancake syrup and other maple-flavored substitutes are made with mostly high-fructose corn syrup and artificial, maple-flavored extract, making it sweeter and lacking the vitamins and minerals found in natural maple syrup.
Maple Syrup Grading
Since maple syrup comes pretty much straight from nature, there can be a lot of variables that affect its taste and color, much like wine and some natural cheeses. Because of this, maple syrup is graded, not on its quality, but on its taste and color.
Check your maple syrup bottle for its grade and flavor profile to choose which one is best for your taste and cooking!
You can’t go wrong when adding maple flavors to your baked goods and sweet treats. Donuts, cakes and even hot chocolate can be taken to the next level with the right maple syrup. But, when it comes to savory dishes, maple syrup pairs best with rich, fatty meats like sausage, pork and ribs. It can also add the perfect amount of seasonal sweetness to spicy chicken wings or veggies like squash and sweet potatoes.
Ready to make some real maple meals? Check out some of our favorite recipes: