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Maple Sugar

Maple syrup and sugar are made from the sap of certain species of maple trees found only in Canada and parts of North America. A hole is cut into the trunk of the tree, the sap runs down a metal spigot, and is caught in buckets or collection tubes below. Maple sap is watery, almost flavourless, and needs to be reduced to roughly a quarter of its volume to produce maple syrup, and further reduced to produce maple sugar. Large quantities of sap are needed to produce only a small amount of maple syrup, one of the main reasons that the syrup is so expensive. Maple syrup can be used as a sweetener like honey as well as a pouring syrup. It goes well with waffles (pictured) and pancakes, can be used as a glaze for ham, or in desserts and baking. A traditional breakfast in America consists of hot cakes (pancakes) and sausage or bacon drizzled with maple syrup. Pure maple syrup is expensive and its price tag is a good indication that what you are buying is 100 per cent pure. Less expensive versions may be synthetically reproduced or the syrup may be mixed with corn syrup.