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Pure Maple Syrup

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What is it?

We’re talking about the real stuff here, not Aunt Jemima: Syrup made from the boiled-down sap of sugar maple trees. There’s probably a bottle of pure maple syrup in your refrigerator right now, awaiting your next batch of pancakes. But if that’s all you’re using it for, you’re missing out.  Maple syrup adds an earthy sweetness to savory sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, and glazes. Its distinctive flavor pairs well with meats like pork and salmon, peppery spices like ginger and cayenne, and condiments like mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce.

 

How to choose:

Maple syrup comes in various shades of amber, and these color gradations correlate directly to flavor. The darker the syrup, the more pronounced its flavor. The official grading of syrup also relates to its color: It goes from fancy to grade A, grade B, and grade C, getting darker with the “lower” grades. For cooking, grade B is the one to seek out, for its intense, almost caramelly flavor. It’s not as widely available as the lighter grade A, but can be found in natural foods stores and online.

 

How to store:

Once opened, maple syrup should be refrigerated. Glass containers maintain flavor better than plastic and metal. If mold develops, remove it, strain the syrup, and bring to a boil. Let cool and keep refrigerated. Maple syrup keeps indefinitely in the freezer.

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