Maple Syrup Two Ways

Maple Syrup Two Ways

Writing and cooking from: Rhinebeck, NY

Real maple syrup is one of the greatest culinary joys in life. Maple-flavored syrup is a sorry excuse for the real thing. If you’ve never had pure, local maple syrup, you are missing out on an important life experience. Toss your maple-flavored sugar and drive up here to get some good syrup – RIGHT NOW. It will change your life.

The many types of pure maple syrup can be overwhelming – grades and titles of syrups vary widely, but the key is to know whether you would like light or dark syrup. This is mostly a taste preference. If you’re going to bake or cook with the syrup, a dark maple syrup, like Grade B dark amber, will stand up better. But if you’re just drizzling it over your morning pancakes, it’s all about what you like.

Personally, I love Grade B dark New York maple syrup. It tastes like the essence of the maple tree. It’s just a little bit sweet, but so flavorful. It’s also the syrup of choice at my parents house and we love to use it in ways that feature the intense flavor the most. Since I was a kid, one of the best ways to enjoy maple syrup has been drizzled over a couple of Dad’s galettes.

Galettes are a simple and delicious treat. They’re like a cross between a donut and an elephant ear. I always look forward to the mornings when Dad would make galettes – a breakfast treat more treasured than Mom’s pancakes, but on par with homemade waffles. When Dad is going to make galettes, Mom pulls out a loaf of frozen bread dough the night before and the anticipation begins.

To make galettes, heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. Cut the bread dough into slices and pull the slices into donut-like shapes with a hole in them. Fry in the oil until golden brown. My Dad knows how to do this perfectly every time.

Serve the galettes with butter and maple syrup. A touch of cinnamon sugar is also nice. These are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – hot, sweet, and syrupy. Delicious breakfast.

If you’re not thinking breakfast, but would like to taste your maple syrup. Perhaps a maple cocktail would do? Last weekend, we made maple martinis. We got the idea from a recipe for a shot called the Warsaw Waffle: 3 parts vodka, 1 part maple syrup. We made the same thing, but bigger – Martini sized.

Hutton family Maple-tini recipe

Serves 3.

3/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup maple syrup

Shake over ice. Pour into Martini glasses.

These are sweetness with a kick and an excellent way to ring in the New Year!! Happy 2011! I hope you enjoy reading Community Cucina this year.

Featured local ingredients:

Maple syrup, Wells Maple Farm, North Nassau, NY

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