Prairie Food Fact: Manitoba and Saskatchewan have maple syrup producers

How Manitoba Maple trees are at the forefront of small-scale syrup production in the Prairies

While maple syrup production in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is not nearly as well-known as it is in provinces like Quebec and Ontario, the Prairies have a burgeoning industry that is gaining recognition for its unique characteristics. Despite the fact that the climate and geography of the region is not ideal for Sugar Maple trees, producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have found innovative ways to tap into this sweet market thanks to the Manitoba Maple.

This tree—which produces a slightly different flavour profile in its end product—is actually native to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and a small portion of Alberta, and has led to the development of a distinct prairie-style maple syrup, which has a lighter and more delicate taste compared to its eastern counterparts.

@dansgoodside Little Food Fact on the Prairie: day 2 DYK that Saskatchewan and Manitoba have maple syrup producers? (take THAT, Quebec!  joking...) I'm sharing a Prairie food fact daily until my cookbook PRAIRIE is released on Aug. 29! #maplesyrup #manitoba #manitobamaple #proudtobeprairie #littlefoodfactontheprairie #canadianauthor #cookbookauthor #canadianfood #canadianfoodie  Fun summer - Kirill Kharchenko

Maple syrup production in the Prairies is also characterized by its artisanal nature. All producers are family-owned operations, with a strong commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. They take pride in their small-batch products which are almost exclusively available via direct purchase or at markets and food specialty shops such as Saskatoon's SaskMade Marketplace.

Saskatchewan's Pine View Farms is one example of a small-batch maple syrup producer, and an annual Manitoba Maple Syrup Festival takes place in McCreary, MB each spring.

The distinct flavour profile of the syrup, a shorter tapping season, and small-scale production approach all contribute to the uniqueness of Saskatchewan and Manitoba maple syrup.