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Jewish Recipes --> Kosher Grocery Store --> Kosher Food

Maple Syrup

Recipe:

Kosher Certification: OU

Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees can be tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples of North America. The practice was adopted by European settlers, who gradually refined production methods. Technological improvements in the 1970s further refined syrup processing. The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for about three-quarters of the world's output; Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed C$145 million (approximately US$141 million) per year. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about 5.5 percent of the global supply.

Maple syrup Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

  • Energy 1,093 kJ (261 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 67.09 g
    - Sugars 59.53 g
    - Dietary fiber 0 g
  • Fat 0.20 g
  • Protein 0 g
  • Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.006 mg (1%)
  • Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.01 mg (1%)
  • Niacin (vit. B3) 0.03 mg (0%)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.036 mg (1%)
  • Vitamin B6 0.002 mg (0%)
  • Calcium 67 mg (7%)
  • Iron 1.20 mg (9%)
  • Magnesium 14 mg (4%)
  • Manganese 3.298 mg (157%)
  • Phosphorus 2 mg (0%)
  • Potassium 204 mg (4%)
  • Zinc 4.16 mg (44%)

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Maple syrup is graded according to the Canada, United States, or Vermont scales based on its density and translucency. Sucrose is the most prevalent sugar in maple syrup. In Canada, syrups must be at least 66 percent sugar and be made exclusively from maple sap to qualify as maple syrup. In the United States, a syrup must be made almost entirely from maple sap to be labeled as "maple".

Maple syrup is often eaten with pancakes, waffles, French toast, or oatmeal and porridge. It is also used as an ingredient in baking, and as a sweetener or flavoring agent. Culinary experts have praised its unique flavor, although the chemistry responsible is not fully understood.

A sugar maple tree

Three species of maple trees are predominantly used to produce maple syrup: the sugar maple (Acer saccharum), the black maple (A. nigrum), and the red maple (A. rubrum), because of the high sugar content (roughly two to five percent) in the sap of these species. The black maple is included as a subspecies or variety in a more broadly viewed concept of A. saccharum, the sugar maple, by some botanists. Of these, the red maple has a shorter season because it buds earlier than sugar and black maples, which alters the flavor of the sap.

A few other (but not all) species of maple (Acer) are also sometimes used as sources of sap for producing maple syrup, including the box elder or Manitoba maple (Acer negundo), the silver maple (A. sacharinum),[8] and the bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum).[9] Similar syrups may also be produced from birch or palm trees, among other sources.

Food and nutrition

The basic ingredient in maple syrup is the sap from the xylem of sugar maple or various other species of maple trees. It consists primarily of sucrose and water, with small amounts of other sugars. Organic acids, the most notable one being malic acid, make the syrup slightly acidic. Maple syrup has a relatively low mineral content, consisting largely of potassium and calcium, but also contains nutritionally significant amounts of zinc and manganese. Maple syrup also contains trace amounts of amino acids, which may contribute to the "buddy" flavor of syrup produced late in the season, as the amino acid content of sap increases at this time. Additionally, maple syrup contains a wide variety of volatile organic compounds, including vanillin, hydroxybutanone, and propionaldehyde. It is not yet known exactly what compounds are responsible for maple syrup's distinctive flavor, however its primary flavor contributing compounds are maple furanone, strawberry furanone, and maltol.

Maple syrup is similar to sugar with respect to calorie content, but is a source of manganese, with 13 grams containing about 0.44 milligrams, or 22 percent of the US Food and Drug Administration Daily Value (DV%) of 2 milligrams. It is also a source of zinc with 13 grams containing 0.55 milligrams or 3.7 percent of the DV% of 15 milligrams. Compared to honey, maple syrup has 15 times more calcium and 1/10 as much sodium.

Scientists have found that maple syrup's natural phenols – potentially beneficial antioxidant compounds – inhibit two carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes that are relevant to type 2 diabetes. In the study, 34 new compounds were discovered in pure maple syrup, five of which have never before been seen in nature. Among the five new compounds is quebecol, a phenolic compound created when the maple sap is boiled to create syrup.

British culinary expert Delia Smith described maple syrup as "a unique ingredient, smooth- and silky-textured, with a sweet, distinctive flavor – hints of caramel with overtones of toffee will not do – and a rare colour, amber set alight. Maple flavor is, well, maple flavor, uniquely different from any other." Agriculture Canada has developed a "flavor wheel" that details 91 unique flavors that can be present in maple syrup. These flavors are divided into 13 families: vanilla, empyreumatic (burnt), milky, fruity, floral, spicy, foreign deterioration or environment, maple, confectionery, and plants forest-humus-cereals, herbaceous or ligneous.[63] These flavors are evaluated using a procedure similar to wine tasting.[64] Other culinary experts praise its unique flavor.

Maple syrup and its various artificial imitations are widely used as toppings for pancakes, waffles, and French toast in North America. They can also be used to flavor a variety of foods, including fritters, ice cream, hot cereal, fresh fruit, and sausages. It is also used as sweetener for granola, applesauce, baked beans, candied sweet potatoes, winter squash, cakes, pies, breads, tea, coffee, and hot toddies. Maple syrup can also be used as a replacement for honey in wine (mead).

Imitations and substitutions

In the United States, "maple syrup" must be made almost entirely from maple sap, although small amounts of substances such as salt may be added. "Maple-flavored" syrups include maple syrup but may contain additional ingredients. "Pancake syrup", "waffle syrup", "table syrup", and similarly named syrups are substitutes which are less expensive than maple syrup. In these syrups, the primary ingredient is most often high fructose corn syrup flavored with sotolon; they have no genuine maple content, and are usually thickened far beyond the viscosity of maple syrup. The fenugreek seed, a spice with high amounts of sotolon, can be prepared to have a maple-like flavor, and is used to make a very strong commercial flavoring that is similar to maple syrup, but much less expensive; one such syrup, Mapleine, was popular during the Great Depression.

American labeling laws prohibit imitation syrups from having "maple" in their names. In Canada, syrup must have a density of 66° on the Brix scale to be marketed as maple syrup.[28] Québécois sometimes refer to imitation maple syrup as sirop de poteau ("pole syrup"), a joke referring to the syrup as having been made by tapping telephone poles.

Imitation syrups are generally cheaper than maple syrup, but tend to taste artificial. A 2009 Cook's Illustrated comparison between top-selling maple and imitation syrups consistently rated the real maple brands (Maple Grove Farms, Highland Sugarworks, Camp Maple, Spring Tree, and Maple Gold) above the imitation brands tested (Eggo, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, Log Cabin, and Hungry Jack).[

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods