Tik Root | The Guardian | Photo: Amanda Swinhart
Winter is finally lifting across the US north-east. For Vermont, that means an end to a bitterly deep freeze – and the annual start to maple sugaring season.
At Slopeside Syrup, in Richmond, the trees are tapped and the anticipation is palpable. The company began making syrup a few years ago, but this will be its first full season with a new product: UnTapped.
Sold in energy-gel packets with a quick-open top, UnTapped is labeled an “athletic fuel”. According to its nutrition panel though, it contains only one ingredient: “100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup (That’s it.)”.
Athletics is the latest, and perhaps boldest, frontier for a notoriously sticky substance that has – from hard candy to chicken-wing glaze – slowly attempted to break out of its breakfast table niche.