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Stop what you are doing right now and put down your breakfast cereals! Today, December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day…so make sure you start the day with some delicious pankcakes smothered in the stuff!

Maple syrup is a distinctly North American product therefore it quite rightly deserves its own day of recognition!

Maple syrup is made from the xylem sap of one of the three maple tree varieties: sugar maple, black maple, or red maple. It was first collected by the indigenous people of the northeastern part of North America. The technique used to extract the sap from the trees is knows as Maple Tapping and is traditionally done by inserting a spile into the trunk of a maple tree with a minimum age of 40 years and collecting the extract in a container.

European settlers adopted this practice. In the 1970s the maple syrup production increased due to technological improvements that refined production methods. The largest producer of maple syrup is the Canadian province of Quebec. The provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Ontario also produce syrup. The largest producer in the United States is Vermont. Marketable quantities of syrup are also produced by New York, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin, and some other states.

As we are all very aware, maple syrup is praised for its unique flavor. It is widely used in cooking as a flavoring agent, a sweetener, a topping, and an ingredient in baking. To celebrate the National Maple Syrup Day, cook waffles, pancakes, crepes, or French toast for breakfast and top then with delicious maple syrup. We are sure you don’t need ANY encouragement to participate in this national day of celebration!

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