Maple syrup

Canada’s 100 Best - - Back Page -

WHEN YOU WERE A KID, it was just some­thing sweet that you poured over pan­cakes with crazed aban­don, as your par­ents cau­tioned you to go easy from the other side of the ta­ble. Maybe if you grew up in Que­bec you also made it to a spring­time sug­ar­ing off party at some lo­cal ca­bane à su­cre, where you ate it like caramel, stiff and cold, freshly plucked from the pris­tine white snow. Then you grew up and re­vis­ited maple syrup and found that you could re­ally cook with the stuff: that it was the ideal glaze for your ham and pork chops and even for brush­ing on a freshly smoked side of Cana­dian salmon. And in place of that pe­cu­liar stan­dard can—marked Prod­uct of Que­bec, with that old red barn nes­tled in bluish white snow amid a for­est of bare trees—you started sam­pling small-pro­ducer edi­tions in place of the generic syrup mixed in a vat. Bour­bon bar­rel-aged syrup, or­ganic syrup, small-pro­ducer syrup—and each of them had nu­ances of flavour cour­tesy of where they were sourced. The maple syrup­pro­duc­ing states and prov­inces have been wran­gling over use­less colour grad­ing sys­tems for years, defin­ing grades as dark or am­ber, A and B—but never ac­knowl­edg­ing the im­por­tance of re­gion. What we need for our best-known culi­nary ex­port is an AOC or DOP-type cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, a stamp guar­an­tee­ing both qual­ity and place of ori­gin. How much more would peo­ple pay for a bot­tle la­belled by an author­ity that they could trust—marked, say, “2018, 1st spring tap­ping, Eastern Town­ships,” with har­vest and pack­ag­ing dates filled in be­neath? More—much more—and it would be worth it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.