With the arrival of March comes hope, more daylight, and a new season of local harvesting in Elgin County. As much as I try to preserve the bounty produced by our local farmers when food is ripe, I'm not at the stage of being 100% sustainable all year round - and I probably never will be. I do the best that I can, when I can, but like the majority of people I resort to imported fresh fruits & vegetables when locally grown isn't available.
When March rolls in (like a lamb or like a lion?), one the first local food products to become available in the new year is ooey gooey, sweet & succulent, take-me-to-the-sugar-shack maple syrup.
The flavour, colour, aroma, texture, and versatility of maple syrup make it a favourite in my pantry. Although the price of the real stuff may intimidate some shoppers, I think it is worth the cost as an occasional treat. The bottles of 'table syrup' are filled with artificially coloured and flavoured high-fructose corn syrup and are in no way close to replicating the complexity and depth of the tree-sourced liquid gold. Authentic maple syrup contains just one ingredient: sugar maple sap.
The sugar shanty's will be open this weekend offering demos and tastings of local syrup. Take a little day-trip, enjoy the great outdoors and pick up a bottle to bring home to prepare the first of many maple treats this month : Maple Budino.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.