LV Recommends: Syrup sourced from a maple tree near you

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Iowa is not generally thought of as a hot-bed of maple syrup production, but it does have a few commercial producers across the state.

The sap-collection season is relatively short, starting around late February or early March and lasting for roughly three weeks. At the beginning of the season, sap flowing from taps is lighter and milder and as the weather warms and the season progresses, becomes darker and takes on a more caramel-y, rich maple flavor.

Pure maple syrup is produced from the sap of maple trees –– either sugar maple, black maple, silver maple or boxelder trees that are at least ten inches in diameter. On average, sap from maple trees is around 2 percent sugar while maple syrup is approximately 66 percent sugar. Sugar content of sap can vary widely from tree to tree and season to season, but maple sap at 2 percent sugar content requires 43 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of syrup. This explains the higher price tag of pure maple syrup when compared to pancake syrup.

Pure maple syrup is made by boiling down sap which evaporates much of the water content and concentrates the flavor and sweetness. Pancake syrup is usually made from corn syrup and flavorings to make it taste more like maple syrup.

Zak Neumann/Little Village

Local Taps Great River Maple

217 Clay Brick Ln, Garnavillo
319, 830-5882

Maple syrup, Bourbon-aged maple syrup, maple cream and cinnamon-infused maple syrup. Available at Bread Garden Market, New Pioneer Coop, Hy-Vee or through website.

Golding’s Sweet Maple Farms

7000 Tower Terrace Rd, Cedar Rapids

Maple marinade, maple butter, Grade A syrup in light, medium, dark and extra dark.

Good Eetens

1655 280th St, Everly

Grade A syrup from light to dark depending on season. Available direct from the farm or at local farmers markets (Sheldon Farmers Market, Everly Farmers Market and Spencer Riverfront Farmers Market).

Green’s Sugarbush

1126 Maple Valley Rd, Castalia
563-567-8472 or 563-380-5132

Maple syrup is sold from the sugarbush in season (mid-March to early April) and at the farm year round.

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