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Ralph and Amy Fideldy, of Timber Sweet Maple in Cohasset, Minn., and Stu and Corinne Peterson, of Camp Aquila Pure Maple Syrup in Dent, left to right, celebrated first place wins at this year’s North American Maple Syrup Council convention. Submitted photo

Dent couple takes first place at international syrup competition

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A pair of Dent maple syrup makers celebrated a sweet victory at this year’s international maple syrup competition.

Stu and Corinne Peterson, owners of Camp Aquila Pure Maple Syrup of Star Lake, took first place in the Grade A–Light Amber class at the recent North American Maple Syrup Council convention held in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, in late October, according to a press release.

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The Petersons’ Camp Aquila is a family-owned, licensed commercial operation tapping approximately 1,200 trees.  The camp uses a gravity tubing collection system which is installed and removed from their sugar bush (wood lot) each season. 

The Petersons boil their sap on a 2.5-by-8-foot wood-fired continuous flow evaporator.  Their syrup is marketed primarily through a network of retail outlets in west central Minnesota and the Twin Cities area.

Another Minnesota couple, Ralph “Butch” and Amy Fideldy, owners of Timber Sweet Maple of Cohasset, also placed first in the competition, taking home the top prize in the Grade A–Dark Amber syrup class. In addition, their winning entry was named “Best In Show.” 

Both Ralph Fideldy and Stu Peterson are active members of the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association.  Fideldy serves as the association’s director, while Peterson currently serves as president.

Syrup entries were judged by a panel of experienced maple syrup judges on the basis of color (grade), density (correct sugar concentration), clarity and flavor appropriate for the grade. Producers from 17 states and Canadian provinces competed for honors.

Although not considered one of the major maple producing states, Minnesota maintained its reputation for producing high quality flavorful pure maple syrup.  Timber Sweet, Camp Aquila, Jake’s Syrups of Vergas, Wild Country Maple of Lutsen and several other Minnesotan operations have been ribbon winners in prior year international competitions.

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