Satisfying the Canadian sweet tooth since 1867, there’s nothing like a drizzle of gold maple syrup. It’s a vaunted celebrant at many a Sunday breakfast, and most of us have memories of school trips to sugar shacks where we learned how to harvest sap from thawed maple trees. At the Sugarbush Maple Festival, you can take your family from tree to tree and listen for the soft pings of sap into tin buckets – and it’ll still be music to your ears. But the experience doesn’t end in the forest. With a diverse range of Ontario maple-centric products at your fingertips, your family can find new ways to love an old favourite.
Varietals from Drip Maple
For a bottle of syrup that looks great in your fridge, Drip‘s small-batch offerings are full of Ontario’s finest sap. In its round, clear bottle with its silver cap, the tawny liquid looks like expensive shampoo, or bourbon (But don’t drink any of it… well, maybe just a swig). The Blonde syrup is the first collection from the spring; it’s light in flavour and colour. The Copper syrup is a breakfast champion, with silky texture. The last run of maple syrup, Amber, has the richest flavour. Licking your lips yet? Just wait until you try Drip’s recipes for maple-brined Southern fried chicken, pumpkin-pie spiced maple bacon doughnuts, and maple-soy braised pork belly lollipops.
Concept and Design by Ninutik
Artists Dianne Croteau and Richard Brault of Ninutik push the envelope when it comes to maple syrup and design. Their signature Cube 57 is a hard block of pure maple sugar and it’s elegantly packaged in a light wooden finger-joint box. To respect nature, they’ve left the maple sap’s marbled texture and small air bubbles intact. Other artistic maple products by the duo include sweet maple lollipops designed to be swirled in coffee or tea, and golden hand-painted white chocolate truffles. Aside from being available online, you can stumble upon Ninutik at various hotels and shopping venues around town, so if you see the “Ninutik” name, snatch some up right away.
Old-Fashioned Sweetness at Farm Pantry
If your family’s looking for a more traditional treat, the Farm Pantry turns out a high-quality version. Take a little roadtrip up 401 to visit the cute grocery shop in St. Jacobs Country, where you can also do some outlet shopping and learn about the Mennonites. When you get home, everyone can create their new favourite sandwich using maple butter or maple mustard – or both.