Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup
While attending the Edible Fest last month in Orange, Virginia, I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce and Travis Miller, owners of Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup.
I definitely have a sweet tooth, so it’s not difficult to get my attention with the mention of syrup. They had me at their motto: “Life is sweet…and SYRUP HAPPENS!”
You’ve never heard about hickory syrup? Well, neither had I. And no wonder – there are only a handful of hickory syrup producers in the U.S.
If we’re going to get technical here, it’s not made from boiling down sap, like maple syrup. It’s a sugar syrup made from the extract of bark, the process originally dating back hundreds of years and attributed to Native Americans. First, the Millers forage for shagbark, which sheds itself from the tree naturally – this means the tree is not harmed in any way. Then the bark is cleaned, roasted, extracted, aged, and filtered. Finally, a bit of turbinado sugar is added to bring out the natural sweetness in the hickory bark, and it goes into bottles to be purchased.
But what can you do with it?
Don’t worry – Wildwood’s got a collection of recipes using hickory syrup – simple yet ingenious combinations for everything from broiled salmon to desserts. I started by making their signature Hickory Bars, which were like blondies infused with hickory goodness. I brushed some on buttered sweet potatoes. I glazed pork chops with it. I poured it on pancakes. And I took it straight from the spoon, enjoying its toasty, brown-butter-and-caramel flavor. After all this highly scientific research, I’d like to conclude… I think it would taste good on just about anything.
Have you ever tried hickory syrup?
Photo Credit: Brie Aronson
Hickory Syrup, 8oz jar
Although we try to provide the most current information, pricing and sizing are subject to change by the vendors. Please double-check both while purchasing.
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