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Northern Express, Tastemaker - Maple Syrup



March might be maple syrup-making season, but if you ask us, winter is maple syrup-gorging season. We pour it on our weekend waffles and pancakes, we mix it in our Friday night cocktails (try a spoonful in a glass of bourbon on ice with a splash of ginger ale and two fresh sprigs of slightly smashed rosemary), and we drizzle it on our weekday morning yogurt and berries. And why not? Loads richer and more nutritious than refined sugar, pure maple syrup is purported to help fight inflammatory diseases thanks to a load of polyphenol antioxidants, high amounts of zinc and manganese, plus potassium and calcium. One of our very favorites comes ever so sweetly from Hilbert’s Honey Co., a business born in 1887, when James Hilbert Sr. decided keeping bees could not only encourage the pollination of his own Elmwood Township fruit farms but also those of his Leelanau County neighbors. His work is carried on — and product line slightly expanded with maple syrup, beeswax candles and all-purpose bars, and (coming soon) moisturizing balm — by grandson Larry Hilbert; his wife, Geana; their sons, James and Keith; and more Hilbert family members. Order an 8-ounce premium bottle (shown) for $7.99 or 12 ounces for $11.99 online at for delivery or enjoy free curbside pickup at their Traverse City facility, 3555 Five Mile Rd.

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