Most of us have been liberally pouring maple syrup on our pancakes and waffles for as long as we can remember.
But syrup can be so much more than a condiment. It can be a dish-changing ingredient when preparing an endless array of flavors. Use maple syrup to add a footnote of unmistakable flavor to sweet treats, or think out of the box and create a subtle undertone to your more savory dishes.
“We do a maple syrup cure to make our house bacon. We rub the pork bellies with maple syrup, kosher salt, pink salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme and let sit for 3 days to cure it. Then we let them air-dry overnight and rub a black pepper crust on top. Then we smoke them for an hour with hickory wood chips. A similar process would work well with most cuts of pork — the maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the pork and compliments the salty tones. Smoked meats and sweet syrups in general are a match made in heaven,” says Jonathan Sutton of Hillside Supper Club in San Francisco.