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The other maple

As we gear up for maple season, we have our fingers crossed for a good one. Excited by a trickle here and there, it is still hard to tell how it will turn out; it needs to warm up, all while staying frosty at night.

Read my article about our favourite source of sugar, the red maple (The other maple) ,on the Cuisine Canada blog. http://cuisinecanada.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/red-maple-the-other-maple/

Even if it isn't a bang-up maple year, there is reason to smile. We spotted the first sprouts next to the melting snow today, March 24 - may be a record! It is obvious that again this year, the ground didn't freeze (with herbs still holding up since last year..), and is gorgedwith water, which has François predicting that it will be a good mushroom year indeed.



Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 11:41PM by Registered CommenterNancy Hinton in , | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

The cuisine canada article on maple syrup is a food writing jewel. It's beguiling, quirky, earthy, muscular, informative, warm, generous and inviting.

Most importantly of all, this article is indelible and unforgettable. For the rest of my life I'll be looking for red maple syrup. At every farmer's stall and every roadside stand I'll have an eye peeled for this special jar or tin of ambrosial syrup.

A few years ago I bought a dark ambré maple syrup from a sidewalk vendor and his wife. They had no sign, only a small card-table quite far outside the Atwater market. This turned out to be a glorious über-syrup, smoky and sweet, with that extraordinary intensification of authentic flavour that immediately disqualifies all contemporary commerical brands and makes me think Ah, this is the maple syrup we used to get when we were children, this is the syrup that angels make.

The itinerant vendor vanished and was never seen again. He was probably far enough away on the market sidewalk that he could pass an occasional day selling his wares without any bureaucratic hassle like having to sign up and register for space. From Nancy's photograph, he might have been Claude's cousin.

Ever since, I keep buying and trying jars of ambré, but nothing ever comes close to that powerful chestnut-dark syrup plucked from the vendor's card-table. After reading this article, I'm convinced it must have been syrup from acer rubrum. How very helpful to know. Now I have a much better chance of finding it again.
April 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhumble_pie

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