Growing up in northeastern Canada, maple syrup — the authentic, really good stuff — practically coursed through my veins. We would not only drench pancakes, waffles and French toast in the liquid gold, but drizzle it on savory dishes as well.
But even more fun than eating the blissful treat was helping farmers in Quebec drill and tap big ol' red, black and sugar maple trees to extract the sap throughout the late winter and early spring months during school field trips.
A group of kids would hold a wooden bucket under a spigot, steadying the receptacle until brimming with the amber-tinted fluid. The watery sap would then be boiled...