Say maple syrup, and I’ll gladly forget everything that was said previously too.
There’s a guy who lives about three miles away who has well over a hundred sugar maples. He’s tapping them right now. I went over and he showed me how they do it and how they concentrate the sap into syrup. Fascinating. Plus I found out that Ohio syrup tastes much different than Vermont syrup when I tried some of his and some Vermont syrup. I actually prefer the Ohio syrup. He uses some wood to boil his syrup and it gives the syrup a slightly smoky flavor which is great.
I honestly had no idea about these differences between syrups, and now I’ll have to try it out. Being an ocean away from where they are made must not stop me!!
@War Pig: I have very fond memories of “helping” my grandfather collect sap and boil it down into syrup when I was a kid (I’m sure I wasn’t actually much help, but it was a blast). I used to love to taste the sap before it was boiled. He did it the old-fashioned way too, over a wood fire. The smell was amazing, and the resulting syrup was fantastic (he didn’t make enough to sell, really; just enough to share with family and friends). That was, I’m proud to say, 100% New Hampshire maple syrup. :) Vermont is certainly more famous for its syrup, but I’ll take NH any day. I think people from Maine feel the same way about their syrup.
And now you understand why the Canadian theft of all that syrup was such a tragic loss. I can’t remember if they ever caught the dastards who did the dirty deed.
They don’t have many maple trees in the south but many southerners feel the same way about sorghum syrup, made from the stalk of a grain related to rice. It’s crushed and the liquid extracted much the same way sugar cane and corn syrups are made but it is much superior in flavor, probably because it isn’t a big commercial operation but mostly done on little family farms. The liquid is boiled down in much the same way as maple syrup, and yes, the best sorghum often has a hint of smoke in the flavor.
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