Northern Ontario maple syrup wins big at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Maple syrup producer from Loring, Ontario, wins world championship
Mike Clapperton was a little skeptical when he saw his name on Toronto's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair website featuring winners in the maple syrup products competition.
"There it was, my name. I couldn't believe it," said Clapperton from his home in Loring, ON, an hour and a half drive south of Sudbury.
"I couldn't take it all in. I actually called right down to the Royal at 8 o'clock when they opened just to confirm. 'Is this real? Is this going to disappear?'"
It was real.
Clapperton's syrup won for the category "Canada Grade A, Amber/Rich Taste" but was also chosen by the judges as the overall Champion Maple Syrup and is recipient of the John David Eaton World Championship Cup.
His name will be engraved on the cup, and he receives a silver platter, a championship ribbon and a cheque for five hundred dollars.
Clapperton credits his win to the maple syrup producing community for sharing information and advice over the years along with "almighty God, the creator of all things who gave us the maple tree and the sap that's in the tree that we can have the knowledge to take it and boil it."
Clapperton has lived in Loring all his 45 years, and still resides in his childhood home.
Growing up they had boiled maple sap on a small scale but about 20 years ago Clapperton said, "I saw a picture in a magazine one day and thought, I really should get into making maple syrup."
Now producing syrup from three thousand taps, this is the third year Clapperton entered the competition at the Royal Agricultural Fair coming in second and fifth in the past two years.
He hopes this year's win will help his business to grow, but has no intention of raising his prices.
"I'm still loyal to my customers," he said. "As far as the winning goes, my customers have been telling me for years that you make good maple syrup. This is just confirmation that everybody's right."
With files from Markus Schwabe