Friday, July 24, 2009
We're all familiar with maple syrup - and it's wonderful stuff! But here's a new addition to the breakfast pantheon - birch syrup!
While perusing the wares and Thyme and Again, a local Ottawa catering company, I came across this intriguing product. I was tempted, but it was awfully expensive ($17.50 Cdn for 125 ml, if you really must know!) But then, happily, I remembered that I was going to a wedding shower and the organizer had asked guests to bring "an exotic food item and one inexpensive kitchen gadget" in lieu of the usual wedding shower gifts. So now I had a perfect excuse to buy it! So I got one for my friend...and then I had to get one for myself! (purely for research purposes, you know).
Last weekend I cracked open my bottle of birch syrup, having some old toaster waffles I thought I should dispatch. First I tasted it on a spoon. Hmm...it is tasty and sweet (they've added fructose)...and a little bitter. The taste is woodsy and earthy...you can really taste the tree in it! The colour is darker than maple syrup, and the reason for the steep price is apparent when you consider that it takes 80-100 litres of birch sap to make this syrup! By contrast, it takes "only" 20-40 litres of sap to make maple syrup!
I like the taste, and I like the fact that it is an exotic Canadian food product (made in Thunder Bay!) The website of the manufacturer (http://www.birchsyrup.ca) also lists several interesting looking recipes. I liked one for ricotta birch syrup cake. I have the syrup and I have ricotta so...we will see how it turns out!
Okay, now I have to confess that Thyme and Again is not on Carling Ave, but it is on Wellington St. West, which is close to Richmond Road, which intersects with Carling and...there you go!
Keep on slurping!