Ontario Maple Syrup Season is finally here - it’s time to celebrate!
Did you know that, according to Stats Canada, Ontario produced 589.8 thousand gallons of pure maple syrup last year - that’s a lot of liquid gold, eh!
Real Ontario maple syrup is simply 100% pure maple sap evaporated down to create an incredibly delicious sweet syrup. It’s a local and natural unrefined sugar that’s full of minerals and antioxidants making it a healthier alternative to white sugar. And then there’s the taste, a clean yet complex flavour with woody undertones and hints of warm caramel and vanilla.
Sugaring season, as maple syrup production season is known, begins in late winter and early springtime. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks, then the sap drips out and is collected in buckets or plastic tubing. The sap is then boiled down into a concentrated syrup. Besides maple syrup, maple syrup farms also produce other traditional lesser known products such as maple butter, maple sugar and maple candy.
Visit Market Fresh Guelph to find your favourite local maple syrup from Northwood Maple Farms in Elmira, Ontario.
Here’s everything you need to know to enhance your local maple syrup experience!
Maple syrup comes in varying grades that are based on the syrup’s flavour and colour. Generally lighter syrup is produced earlier in the season and is preferred for maple candy and confections, while darker shades develop later and add a more robust maple flavour that is ideal for baking and savoury recipes.
Here’s a breakdown on maple syrup grades and recommended uses:
Golden, Delicate Taste
Grade A Golden Syrup is light and mild. In the maple industry it has what’s known as a maple bouquet; a very delicate but clear maple flavour.
Suggested Uses: Classically used in cake icings, delicate sweets and for maple candy.
Amber, Rich Taste
This is the most popular grade of maple syrup. It’s a bit darker than the golden with a more pronounced maple flavour.
Suggested Uses: Perfect as a table syrup for pancakes, waffles and French toast.
Dark, Robust Taste
With a darker colour and stronger maple flavour many people describe this grade as caramel-like.
Suggested Uses: Works very well in baked goods and on oatmeal.
Very Dark, Strong Taste
A deep coloured, full-bodied maple syrup made when the sap has its lowest sugar content, thus allowing the flavour of the minerals and maple to shine through.
Suggested Uses: Fantastic in savoury recipes like meat glazes, baked beans, candied yams and in desserts that enjoy a more robust flavour.
Try these unique maple products available at Market Fresh Guelph:
Northwood Maple Farms’ Maple Butter
Maple butter, also called maple cream, is produced by heating and cooling pure maple syrup then whipping it into a creamy, thick and spreadable consistency. It’s wonderful on toast, warm biscuits and muffins, stirred into coffee or used as a dessert frosting.
Northwood Maple Farms’ Maple Candy
Maple candy is essentially pure maple syrup that melts in your mouth. The candy is made by boiling down maple syrup then pouring it into molds, most commonly into maple leaf molds.
Northwood Maple Farms’ Maple Sugar
Maple sugar is one of the healthiest granulated sugars. It’s made by continually boiling down the syrup past the candy stage until crystallization takes place. It can be substituted one for one to replace white or brown sugar and lends a lovely maple flavour to dishes.
Attend the world’s largest maple syrup festival (psst - It’s local )
According to the Guinness World Book of Records, Elmira, Ontario hosts the largest single-day maple syrup festival in the world. As you may already know, we 💚 local, so we think immersing yourself in the local food, fun and delicious maple syrup at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is a must-experience at least once in your lifetime.
This year the event will be held on Saturday, April 1st. For more details visit https://www.elmiramaplesyrupfestival.com/
Visit any of the local farms below to see how maple syrup is harvested!
Northwood Maple Farms, Elmira, Ontario
Snyder Heritage Farms, Breslau, Ontario
Kallonen Maple Farm, Cambridge, Ontario
Heartwood Farm, Erin, Ontario
Elliott Tree Farm, Hillsburgh, Ontario
Sweet Ontario puts together a Maple Weekend every spring featuring maple producers from across the province. For more details visit https://www.ontariomaple.com/maple-weekend/