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Maryland's sweet gift to local chefs 

| Washington D.C.   Cooking | Rina Rapuano

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The maple syrup that pools in your waffles and sweetens your lattes conjures visions of snowy Vermont.

Yet there's a chance that the amber elixir was actually bottled here in Maryland.

Our region's milder climate creates a surprisingly sweet product, one that is being tapped now, as winter warms into spring.

At S & S Maple Camp in Corriganville, owner Leo Shinholt taps 200 acres of maple trees to produce his syrup, cream, candy and sugar. The various sections of his orchard yield different flavors, so Shinholt blends his ideal formula.

His pancake-enhancing syrup is available at area markets, including Mom's Organic Markets and the Takoma Park and Silver Spring Co-ops.

At Moxie in Frederick, pastry chef Page Rhodes favors the Camp's slightly nutty syrup in butternut squash soup and a maple-mustard vinaigrette (click here to download the recipe) that brightens root vegetables or grilled salmon with its perky sweetness and spice.

To experience the thrills of local maple syrup firsthand, head to this weekend's Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park. The park will demonstrate the syrup-making process, host a pancake breakfast ($4.50 for pancakes), and sell Shinholt's syrup ($10 per pint) and sugar.

Cunningham Falls State Park, 14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd., Thurmont; 301-271-7574 or dnr.state.md.us

Editor's note: Moxie has closed.

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Cunningham Falls State Park 14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd. Thurmont MD 21788 301-271-7574
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