Beyond Maple Syrup

By Bonnie Hudspeth, Winter 2008
Portions of this text were originally published in Local Banquet Magazine

Vermont entrepreneurs are using maple sap in new ways – and waiting to see how the climate changes.

Although Vermont led all states in maple syrup production in 2006 with 460,000 gallons-more than 32 percent of the maple syrup produced in the United States-the threat of a Vermont without maple syrup is real. Tim Perkins at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Station in Underhill has found that the sugaring season-formerly 30 days in length-has been shifting earlier in the spring by a week (on average) over the past 40 years, thereby reducing the standard season by 6 to 10%. And many sugar producers have already experienced the impact of changing weather on sap production.

But the threat to maples hasn’t stopped Vermont entrepreneurs from using maple sap in innovative ways. Here are three local businesses that have taken the maple syrup once reserved for Sunday morning pancakes and used it in variations never before imagined:  http://www.localbanquet.com/issues/years/2008/winter08/beyondmaple_w08.html.