What is National Maple Syrup Day?
National Maple Syrup Day is on December 17! This viscous yet delicious condiment that is just as versatile as it is tasty; people enjoy it drizzled over everything: from pancakes, to eggs, to salads, to barbecue, this sugary substance has more potential than some give it credit for. On December 17, pour away!
History of National Maple Syrup Day
The origins of the production of maple syrup can be traced back thousands of years to the northeastern region of the United States. There, it was first gleaned from the abundant maple tree population by indigenous peoples. While it is uncertain as to how and why exactly the extraction process first began, it is inarguable that maple sap became a key ingredient in a variety of dishes.
The arrival of European colonists would allow for the introduction of maple syrup to the Old World, and their love for the taste of the arboreal byproduct was matched by their appreciation for its utility. It was a popular substitute for cane sugar, as this had to be imported from the West Indies region, and its ability to exist in both liquid and crystallized form made it an ideal source for concentrated sugar. The colonists’ extraction methods differed from those of the indigenous peoples, and they would serve as the foundation for several subsequent iterations upon the process. Some maple trees may have even seen dozens of changes to the extraction procedures used upon them, as they can continue to be tapped for sap for more than 100 years!
Today, the consumption of maple syrup is no longer reserved for chieftains or special celebratory events. It is not only used across the world, but production chains have even sprung up in countries like Japan and South Korea. Canada now produces the vast majority of the world’s maple syrup supply with its total exports valued at more than $270 million. It may have happened at the rate of molasses, but maple syrup is now known (and loved) far beyond the pocket of the northeast.