Around the World in a Food Daze: From Maple Syrup to Oregano Honey

Each corner of Earth has something special to offer, a little story to tell – from Canada to Greece and Australia and back. For example, the world offers us special treats for our teapots, a nice experience of the ‘daze’ of the new and unexpected.

Born and raised in Thessaloniki – although my ancestors are all over Greece and beyond – the sweetener for any tea for me was honey. But when I travel, I like to get a taste of the traditional way of life of other places, and their tastes.

I had the good luck in 2014 to study abroad. I take some Greek herbs and other delicacies with me when I have to travel and meet new people. Not for me, but to present ‘a taste of Greece’ to the interesting people I meet. Well, there she was: an authentic Canadian girl, who said to me “your mountain tea is delicious! Why don’t we try it with maple syrup? To tell you the truth, I did not know what maple syrup was. And I was amazed.

I was also thrilled to learn about the nutritional and herbal properties of maple trees. There are many species – the properties can vary a lot – and they are the source of herbs and for producing syrup. Genus Acer has 129 species. Many of them produce herbs that are used for a wide rage of diseases in East Asia and North America.

While the syrup from the plant’s juice is mainly used as sweetener, these plants are also highly effective in treating rheumatism and hepatic disorders, and for detox. They also contain many valuable substances, like flavonoids and tannins, and several other types of compounds, such as phenylethanoid glycosides and alkaloids, which exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activity with antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, and anti-obesity power. For example, the bark of the tree, which has healing and astringent properties, is used in bandages for skin wounds.

Sugar maple – it’s leaf is the emblem of Canada –  along with some other species, offer maple syrup. It has grades and standards, like honey, and different qualities. Syrup and honey are not just carbohydrates – sugars. Maple syrup has small amounts of vitamins, but it is also high in calcium and potassium and has small amount of magnesium. Compared with honey, there is a good quantity of water too. In syrup, there are also a lot of compounds with healing properties, which is also the case when maple is used as an herb.

The most exciting thing when exploring foods is discovering ‘small flavors’ – the ones that are so unique. I was surprised to learn that there is a ‘flavor wheel’ for Canadian agriculture. It reminds me of some research in Greece with rare batches of honey – like the oregano honey from some islands. The small flavors are so unique that you feel lucky to taste them. It is like wine tasting, but in a dazzling form, consisting of different varieties of foods.


* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.


Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.



DENVER (AP) — On a brisk day at a restaurant outside Chicago, Deb Robertson sat with her teenage grandson to talk about her death.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


New York Greek Independence Parade Honors 1821 and Grim Anniversary for Cyprus (Vid & Pics)

NEW YORK – The New York Greek Independence Parade on Fifth Avenue, commemorating the 203rd anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, was held in an atmosphere of emotion and pride on April 14.

NEW YORK  — The historic hush money trial of Donald Trump got underway Monday with the arduous process of selecting a jury to hear the case charging the former president with falsifying business records in order to stifle stories about his sex life.

ATHENS - The New Democracy's ballot paper was presented at a special event at the Athens Auditorium on Monday.

JERUSALEM  — Israel’s military chief said Monday that his country will respond to Iran’s weekend attack, but he did not elaborate on when and how as world leaders urged Israel not to retaliate, trying to avoid a spiral of violence in the Middle East.

FRANKLIN, TN – After the amazing success of first two Annual Greek Adoptee Reunions in Nashville, TN, in August 2022 and in their homeland of Greece in October 2023, Greek-born adoptees are poised to converge on Louisville, KY, for the Third Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion, June 20-22.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.