Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

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Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:31 pm

Yesterday on my home from Van, I picked up a few groceries, including a good maple syrup which I'm out of and would be one thing there wouldn't be a ridiculous import tax on in Canada. Saw birch syrup there as well, which is new to me. The birch syrup was about twice the cost of the maple. Is it worth the extra expense?
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Jenise wrote:Yesterday on my home from Van, I picked up a few groceries, including a good maple syrup which I'm out of and would be one thing there wouldn't be a ridiculous import tax on in Canada. Saw birch syrup there as well, which is new to me. The birch syrup was about twice the cost of the maple. Is it worth the extra expense?

I remember tasting birch beer (a soft drink like root beer, but clear) when I was a kid working at a camp in upstate NY. I hated it. It tasted like Chiclets.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Rahsaan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:14 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I remember tasting birch beer (a soft drink like root beer, but clear) when I was a kid working at a camp in upstate NY. I hated it. It tasted like Chiclets.


But do you like root beer?

I loved both as a kid and would get a kick out of comparing the flavors again as an adult.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:29 pm

Hmm... Birch Beer vs Root Beer? I have an empty bottle of each in the recycle bin now. I like them both, but find birch beer more refreshing. I've never heard of birch syrup.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:55 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:I remember tasting birch beer (a soft drink like root beer, but clear) when I was a kid working at a camp in upstate NY. I hated it. It tasted like Chiclets.


But do you like root beer?

I loved both as a kid and would get a kick out of comparing the flavors again as an adult.

I'm not crazy about root beer, but I like it okay, particularly an "artisanal" brand like Sprecher's from Milwaukee or some non-alcoholic root beers made by local microbreweries. I still remember being repulsed by birch beer, though.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:20 pm

Never heard of birch syrup either. True Love thinks that's what birch beer is made from, but I think it is made from either the bark or the roots.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:44 pm

Hmmm...was sure all you New Englanders would know! So just now I did a quick google and discovered a website for a birch syrup producer in Alaska. It certainly explains the expense.

Birch Syrup is a truly unique flavor from Alaska's forests - and quite rare. Total 2004 commercial production in Alaska and - as far as we know - in the world was less than 1500 gallons! At this time there is little commercial production of birch syrup anywhere else in the world.

Alaska's vast mid latitudes are carpeted with mixed birch/spruce - or "boreal" forests, ideal for sustainable syrup production; at present a little "tapped" resource.

Birch syrup in Alaska is produced by collecting the sap from the paper birch and evaporating it to syrup. It takes an average of 100 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of birch syrup. Maple syrup, by comparison, averages 40:1. The sap, containing only 1-1.5% sugar, looks and tastes much like water right out of the tree. Concentrating the sugar to 67% by evaporation gives the syrup its color and distinctive flavor.
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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:08 pm

I've never heard of birch syrup before. Birch beer is very common in New England. As are root beer and Moxie. All three are made from an extract from tree roots. Moxie also has gentian root extract in it, which makes it taste like root beer with a dash of Angostura bitters added in.

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Re: Birch syrup vs. maple syrup

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:21 pm

I bought some birch syrup on a visit to Alaska a few years ago. That was the first time I hd ever seen it. I found it more rough and rustic than maple syrup, and my interest in it did not last through the 1 pint jug.
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