Maple butter offers a sweet and secret taste of springtime in North America

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Maple butter is the most delicious secret of a northern spring. 

Creamy, spreadable and sugar-pie-honey-bunch sweet — and 100% all-natural.

Maple butter is also called maple cream. Contrary to either name, it contains no dairy, nor any kind of animal fat or protein. 

And, despite its beautiful sweetness, maple butter contains no artificial sugars. 

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It’s just a super-concentrated form of maple syrup, whipped into a creamy form. 

“Maple butter is literally just tree sap. Nothing else is added,” New Hampshire homesteader and maple expert Michelle Visser told Fox News Digital. 

Maple butter tarts made with amber maple syrup from Kennedy Farms, Ontario, Canada. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Visser is author of the 2019 book, “Sweet Maple: Backyard Sugarmaking from Tap to Table.” 

She also hosts the “Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy” podcast.

Her website is SoulyRested.com

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“It’s a fantastic spread,” said Visser. “I like to put it on something salty to contrast the sweetness. Saltines, pretzel roads, warm bagels.”

She also likes dipping strawberries in maple butter.

The sweet spread begins as maple sap, which is tapped late each winter or early spring from maple trees found throughout the northern United States and Canada. 

Maple sap

A drop of fresh sap falls from a tap in a maple tree in Bowdoin, Maine. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

America’s neighbor to the north is easily the world’s No. 1 producer of maple syrup – hence Canada’s maple leaf flag. 

It’s one of the largest industries in the province of Quebec.

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New England and upstate New York are the top maple-producing regions of the United States.

“It’s a fantastic spread. I like to put it on something salty to contrast the sweetness.”

Maple syrup is largely a North American phenomenon. Europeans learned of it from Indigenous peoples in the early 1600s. 

“Most likely the Native Americans discovered the sweetness of the maple tree by eating ‘sapsicles,’” reports the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.

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“The icicles of frozen maple sap that form from the end of a broken twig in winter time. As the ice forms, some of the water evaporates, leaving a sweet treat hanging from the tree.”

Maple syrup

A bottle of maple syrup at Chase Farm in Wells, Maine. (Joel Page/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Maple butter, said Visser, is a perfect example of her all-natural, homemade ethic.

“It’s simple, but it’s not actually easy,” she said. “The deal is [you’re] brave to start with a super-saturated syrup, no matter what you’re going to make. And it takes some work and effort.”

“Most likely the Native Americans discovered the sweetness of the maple tree by eating ‘sapsicles.'” 

Maple cream, she said, can be made at home by boiling 100% maple syrup for 20 to 30 minutes.

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The hot pot is cooled immediately in an ice bath until the syrup reaches 100 degrees, then stirred constantly for about 15 minutes until it takes on a creamy whipped texture.

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