Maple syrup is produced from sap tapped from maple trees in early spring, when their sap is rising. The fresh sap is then boiled to reduce it to sugar or a reddish-brown, relatively thin and very sweet syrup with a positive flavor. Pure maple syrup is quite expensive; some brands are blended with cheaper corn or cane syrup, so check the ingredients on the label.
Most maple syrup is imported from Canada, whose national emblem is the maple leaf; in North America it is typically served with pancakes and waffles. It may also be poured over thick plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream, or over puddings.