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Getting Sappy Makes me Happy

Andrew Norton

I love maple syrup. My pancakes become rafts floating in a carmel colored pool of sweet sticky goodness. You can keep your jams and other fruit-flavored syrups. I'll take mine with maple, thank-you. Call me old-fashioned or plain. I don't mind. To me, nothing tastes as good on pancakes as pure Michigan Maple Syrup. Yum!

Another breakfast use for maple syrup that I enjoy is putting it on my oatmeal with a little brown sugar. You can probably call me old-fashioned for eating regular oatmeal, too.

Did you know maple syrup was the sweetener of choice for Michigan's Native Americans? They had figured out how to boil it down and concentrate the sweetness. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. So, in case you thought you could go out in your yard and tap a couple of your maples to save some money, you better think again. You need a large grove of sugar maple trees (called a sugar bush) to collect enough sap for making maple syrup.

Here are some maple syrup facts courtesy of the Michigan Maple Syrup Producers Association:

  • Michigan produces about 80,000 gallons of maple syrup each year
  • Michigan ranks 6th in the nation in maple syrup production
  • Maple syrup is one of the few agricultural products where demand exceeds supply
  • When trees bud out the sap becomes bitter, this is what makes production cease
  • Pure Michigan maple syrup has 50 calories per tablespoon and is fat-free

Hartwick Pines is holding their annual Maple Syrup Day this Saturday, March 25. Read about it in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Read about a Milford family that makes their own maple syrup in a suburban setting.