A pastry delicacy found in the Pacific Northwest, maple bars consist of a rectangular donut-like (but without the hole) pastry base, topped with a maple glaze made from maple syrup, sugar, butter or milk, and often eggs and vanilla. Maple bars are ubiquitous in Oregon and Washington, to be found at gas stations, grocery store bakeries, convenience stores, &c.

Maple Bars are as common, as, well, donuts, in Portland, where I am from. I was thus very surprised to learn recently, from a friend who was doing a project on the Pacific Northwest dialect for her sociolinguistics class, that this is a specifically regional term. I asked around of people at my school in Minnesota, including one from maple-land Vermont, if they knew what a maple bar was, and only Northwesterners knew.


I have since learned that maple bars are known in other parts of the country as Maple-glazed Long Johns. These are somewhat hard to find in places, but at least most people can understand this name. I once heard of a migrant to Oregon from the Midwest who would desperately search for the Vanilla-glazed Long Johns so common in her home, but all she could find were "these weird maple things!"

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