Buddy the Elf was On to Something


Sophia Swanson, Writer

Maple syrup is not just for pancakes and waffles anymore. Before we discuss that let’s talk a little about maple syrup. 


Maple syrup comes from maple trees in the northeast US and Canada. When it’s cold, maple trees store starch in the bark and the roots. When the starch is heated up it creates a sugary liquid that rises into the sap by late winter or early spring. When a maple syrup farmer sees that the tree is ready to be tapped they drill a hole in the tree and hang a bucket to collect the syrup. After that, the syrup is heated to evaporate all the extra water so the sugary syrup is all that’s left. Most maple trees can produce up to 15 US gallons of syrup per year. Maple syrup was first used by the Native Americans but was later made popular by European settlers. Canada and the United States are responsible for the distribution of maple syrup, Quebec (Canada) producing about 70% of that distribution. In 2019 alone the US produced 4.24 million gallons of maple syrup. 


Maple syrup is most commonly associated with pancakes, waffles, and french toast. In a much-appreciated interview with a Vermont resident, Amy Kirkpatrick, it was clear that maple syrup can be a key ingredient in many savory dishes. Some examples of maple syrup in savory dishes include Tomato marinara where maple syrup enchants the flavor of the crushed tomatoes which gives them a whole new element. Maple syrup can be put in chili because it balances out the sweet and the savory. You can brine and marinate meat with maple syrup and it will soften the meat and give it a sweeter element. Salad dressing is thought of as very savory or very sweet but perhaps if you added a little maple syrup it would balance out the savory and the sweet. Acorn Squash, scoop out the insides and add a little butter and maple syrup and it could be a treat. Finally, if added to pecan scones flavor strikes. 


In honor of Buddy, the Elf here is a wonderful maple syrup marinara recipe for your next spaghetti dinner.


Marinara Sauce with Maple Syrup


1 18 oz can of crushed tomatoes

One large yellow onion

3 cloves of Garlic

Salt and Pepper

One tablespoon Smoked Maple Syrup 

Half cup Cream


Add 50-50 Butter and olive oil to a hot saucepan. Add finely chopped onion and let sauté until very well done. Add diced garlic to sautéed onions and let cook for one minute until lightly cooked through. Add crushed tomatoes to onion/garlic mixure until thoroughly mixed keep on low to medium heat for 20 minutes or until reduced. Add maple syrup to the sauce and mix in. Add 1/2 cup water and let the sauce reduce. Maple syrup will bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. When fully reduced, add cream to your own preference.