Maple syrup is not just for pancakes and French toast. More and more human beings flip to it once they need to sweeten something without subtle white sugar. Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen co-wrote the book Sweet Nature: A Cook’s Guide to Using Honey and Maple Syrup. They experience maple syrup’s magical manner of absolutely reworking a dish. Our contributor Shauna Sever talked with them about simple approaches to all get a touch bit of that magic. Want to look at the super manner of making maple syrup for yourself? Check out our Splendid Table video: Family farm continues candy subculture of creating maple syrup.
Shauna Sever: Using unrefined sugars in cooking and baking has emerged as massive within the meals international. I need to recognize what excites you approximately operating with maple merchandise as ingredients.
Beth Dooley: Several things. Maple has a wonderful taste so that you can improve a dish, whether or not it’s a baked food or something savory, via gambling with that taste and listening to it. Whereas white sugar or maybe a number of the herbal cane sugars, in reality, don’t have plenty of flavors at all. They’re so impartial which you’re no longer simply including something. And with maple, you are now not the handiest sweetening; however, you’re adding a further flavor.
SS: I love how many savory recipes are in the book. I experience like those are the finest examples to show off how you operate maple as a seasoning, in addition to simply being a sweetener. It’s no longer like you’re using cups of it so one can get the flavor throughout; you are the usage of it smartly. Please tell us how you approached using the ingredients.
BD: That’s precisely proper. And that’s what makes operating with those foods so much a laugh. They brighten a dish, just like salt does. You’re operating at each end of the taste spectrum: salty and sweet. And while you operate them together, you don’t need as much of both because they work together to decorate flavors. And so, as an instance, Mette makes use of maple in some of the fish recipes. They truly are interesting.
Mette Nielsen: I grew up consuming herring and lox, very not unusual foods in Denmark. Maple isn’t unusual in Denmark; the sugar maple is native to North America. As a kid, we would see it on every occasion inside the market. However, it was not anything all, and sundry knew how to use, and truly now not in cooking. That was a fun venture for me, to take those traditional Danish recipes and then made them new and interesting using maple.
It introduced a degree of taste that we didn’t have earlier. The equal in some of the retaining recipes, using maple sugar, become a product I hadn’t truly used before. It’s a totally high-priced product. It’s plenty extra highly-priced than the maple syrup, as it’s concentrated maple syrup. We use very little of it, but it adds a lot of flavors. So very amusing to play with.
Beth Dooley and Mette Nielson coauthored Sweet Nature: A Cook’s Guide to Using Honey and Maple Syrup Photo: Timothy Nielson.
SS: You bring up a thrilling point, which you have a number of those recipes that you grew up within Denmark, but you furthermore mght move globally with flavors and dishes in this e-book. You adopt a few recipes from special countries that may not usually use maple. Tell us approximately coming across a number of the one’s recipes and what you decided to place in the e-book. BD: One of the tactics we take is we appear to the flavor of the maple or the honey or whatever food we are running with, to look how that would work with some of our favorite dishes, for instance.
Whether they had been South American or, in Mette’s case, Danish, then appearance to peer what type of seasonings came from that place and how we’d mirror the ones flavor the usage of what became a neighborhood. Our awareness has constantly been on nearby. We’re when you consider that occur in cuisines worldwide, where people are looking at what grows exceptional in their area, after which using them in mixture with other flavors from around the sector.
To provide you with an instance, we use maple with the duck contig and pepper. Somehow, it really works with the fat within the recipe to make it even greater luscious than it already is. In a few instances, maple replaces agave, as an instance, which has an awesome taste, but it is not unlike maple. In many Mexican dishes, we have used a touch bit of maple to update that same flavor. It was more about being attentive to the whole dish than seeing how maple may suit in.