Maple syrup is a natural sweetener derived from the concentration of maple tree sap. In early spring, maple trees are tapped, the sap is collected, then it's cooked down into a rich, flavourful syrup. A product exclusive to North America and enjoyed there most often. Vermont is the best-known producer of real maple syrup and has a rich caramel-like taste with hints of woody vanilla. As the sap is harvested throughout the year, the flavour is intensified.