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Archive for October, 2011

Berkshire Sweet Gold (<link) is a special brand of Maple Syrup and we’re not just saying that because our cousins are the ones making it. Nope, this stuff really is in a class by itself. You’re probably already calling shenanigans on me as you’re certain Maple Syrup is Maple Syrup. It’s just sap from a Maple tree that someone poked a hole in and stuck a bucket under right?

Wrong!

While you do have to tap the trees and have hoses run down to the sugarhouse for processing there’s several other things you need to do as well; like cook it. Why? Well for one thing you need to reduce it by close to 90%. In other words, you need a thousand gallons of sap to make a hundred gallons of syrup.

The longer it takes you to cook it the more adverse affect you have on the flavor. Which brings me to the first thing that makes Berkshire Sweet Gold different from syrups you can get at your local gourmet shop:

Imagine you have a gallon of chicken broth that you want to cook down to a cup. If you put it in a gallon size saucepan and let it boil its way down that will take quite some time. If however, you were able to put the broth into a large skillet with a larger surface area in direct contact to the heat, it boils down a lot quicker. Without finding a technical manual, that’s roughly how to describe what they do.

And by "they" I mean these guys

So now here’s the second thing:

Did you know that after the trees are tapped in early spring,  the sap produced changes in color and intensity as the year goes by? It starts off as a color lighter than honey but by autumn it’s twice as dark as you’re used to seeing in store-bought syrup. As it gets darker, the intensity of the distinctive Maple flavor gets stronger.

Most syrup producers mix all the color types together into one big batch but my cousins keep it separate. This gives you options in flavor intensity and with what you can do with it. For instance the light makes a fantastic sweetener for things like coffee.

If you don’t want to take our word for it, you can always come and sample some on your next visit with us. You can even purchase a bottle from our gift shop. 🙂

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