“Life is trying things to see if they work.” ~Ray Bradbury
I’ve tasted a fair share of pure maple syrup in my lifetime having lived in Vermont for decades, where a good deal of the product is produced. When I ran across Runamok Maple Company while browsing the internet I became aware of a new concept in maple production – infusions. What’s this, I thought? I was so intrigued, I wanted to try some.
The pecan wood-smoked maple syrup particularly peaked my interest. The customer service representative at Runamok said this flavor is best used creatively in other concocted recipes. Over pancakes, she said, the wood smoke flavor may be a little strong, but they intentionally craft it that way because the infused flavor fades a little after further cooking in other recipes.
When the bottle of syrup arrived, I carefully pondered how to use the product that was painstakingly made by mixmaster, Eric Sorkin, co-owner of the company. Impressively, he has a law degree from Columbia University and Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University!
My first taste test was to use the pecan wood-smoked maple syrup in a casserole of sliced sweet potatoes and tart Grannie Smith apples. Having been warned, I drizzled conservatively before popping the dish in the oven. The result -a great combination of flavors – distinctively different than pure maple syrup yet the wood smoke flavor was sublime and wonderfully delicate. Frankly, I could have been just a tad less timid in my use of it. I’ll remember that for next time. My intuition told me the combo might be a good one since generally root vegetables and apples are eaten in greater abundance in the winter and both winter over well.
The second way I used the syrup was by drizzling fresh brussel sprouts with the pecan wood-smoked maple syrup, olive oil and a little salt and roasting them in the oven. It was equally as satisfying, and I was careful not to be too heavy handed again because I didn’t want the sweet syrup to overpower the veggies. As much as I like brussel sprouts, I may not ever be able to eat them again without the additional very complimentary flavors.
I had more emotional echoes when tasting the pecan wood-smoked maple syrup that were very interesting. I’ll recount what happened in my next blog post, so come on back! Return visitors are always appreciated.