Friday, March 7

Syrup without maple is Like Pancakes without Syrup

Location: Trenanthia Cottage located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (90 min north of Toronto)

stack of pancakes with blueberries and strawberries
This past week was “Fat Tuesday”, or “Pancake Tuesday”, or as I affectionately refer to it, “every day of my life”. Any excuse to devour a stack of pancakes is a good excuse, am I right? So of course I did just that! Some friends and I got together bright and early for a homemade pancake breakfast, complete with what we call “the Tower of Power”. Read: a whole lot of pancakes stacked so high it becomes a physical challenge to eat them. We had all kinds- blueberry, banana, chocolate chip, weird experimental fusion was delicious! As we sat down to eat, my friend asked me If I wanted some maple syrup. “Obviously!”, I chirped in reply.

And then something scary happened. Something truly shocking, that rocked me to my very core. I don’t know if I can even say it.

(Deep breath)

Okay. Here we go.

She passed me a bottle of table syrup. Table syrup.

bottle of table syrup
Or, rather, “butter flavoured pancake syrup”. Suddenly my head was spinning and I let out a long “Nooooooooooooooo!” while running away in slow motion. Okay I didn’t run away in slow motion. But I have to say, as a Canadian and a lover of all things maple, I definitely have a soft spot for 100% pure maple syrup. Because once you’ve had a taste of the real deal, nothing else compares! To my surprise I found out that there are a lot of people who don’t know the difference between table syrup and authentic maple syrup! Say what!? I think a trip to the sugar bush is in order! ...Now that I think of it, that’s not a bad idea.

Getting ‘Sappy’…

three children along with a maple farmer observing how the maple farmer extracts the maple
I remember going on family trips to maple syrup festivals and learning all sorts of fun facts about maple syrup, like how it’s made from boiled down sap, and how it takes about 40 litres of sap to make just 1 litre of syrup (no wonder the stuff is so expensive!) We got a full guided tour complete with yummy samples of maple treats and there were tons of activities like skating and live music singalongs. With each year I remember feeling like maple syrup season was an official sign that Spring was near. After all, March and April are the prime sapping months!

Maple Syrup Helps You Cheer Up

That’s what the whole table syrup fiasco (dramatic? who, me?) made me think of: that sweet, ooey-gooey, Canadian nectar and those annual trips that made me appreciate it so much. The cold weather lingers, but doesn’t it feel like Spring is really on its way??

That’s something to celebrate! Perhaps with a “Tower Of Power” - and some real maple syrup.