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The Voyages of s/v Silverheels III
...a virtual ship's logbook, and some thoughtful (unabashed?) reflections on our sea-going experiences.
06/14/2014, Somewhere north of Toronto

Our first year in the Caribbean, we were told by experienced cruisers who were also foodies, that we would learn to like Nutmeg Syrup as much as we liked our beloved maple syrup. And you know, for five years we weaned ourselves off of the maple syrup and learned to embrace the Grenadian Nutmeg Syrup and even the French Cane Syrup for our French toast and pancakes. They did the job quite admirably.
Then we returned to Canada this time for another visit. And we now have a small problem. Ken's niece, Ann, and her husband Peter, have a sugar bush within shouting distance of Georgian Bay. Ann's father, Bob, Ken's brother, of course has some of this fine maple syrup in his house. And doggone it, it is so fine! And then we visited Ann and Peter at their beautiful north country home, and learned more about the making of maple syrup.
Most kids in Southern Ontario have visited a maple sugar bush at some point in their elementary school career, but it is different when you visit as an adult. Okay, the season is over, but our questions are still answerable.
To be considered "pure", maple syrup must have no more than a certain percentage of water content. This is attained from the sap by boiling the sap until the right concentration is attained, which is measured either by sugar content, or the boiling point (which is a little different from water's). Peter goes with the sugar content technique, as it is more reliable; boiling point is greatly affected by atmospheric pressure.
Grading of syrup is done by colour (they keep samples of suitable coloured tea for their comparison). The earlier the syrup is made, the lighter the colour and the more valuable the syrup. In the Caribbean, and the southern U.S., we have really only been able to find the dark amber, which is considered more of a cooking grade here. It has a much heavier flavour which we don't enjoy as much.
So now we have a problem, we are hooked on maple syrup again. Right now it isn't a problem, as we have an excellent supplier. Looks like we may be forced to bring some back with us when we fly back to 'Silverheels III'.

Limin' in the Caribbean
06/16/2014 | Jonathan
Perhaps you could just run a small plastic tube from the supply to Silverheels ;-))
06/19/2014 | David & Alex
Hmm, if there be room in your luggage when you come back we would gladly buy some off you :)
K-cup rant
06/14/2014, Ontario, Canada

Just one of our surprises when reacquainting ourselves with North American trends that have developed since we've been in Caribbean.

We used to shake our heads at the plastic pollution in Martinique and Guadeloupe supermarkets in the little "Junior" sized 125 ml yogurt packages. Many large supermarkets have 50 ft of shelf space dedicated to thousands of these tiny yogurts. Canadian sized 650 ml sizes are unheard of there.

Fast forward to Canada where there's now a plethora of single serving home coffee makers which utilize a small throwaway plastic cartridge prefilled with coffee or tea. What a waste of plastic in this "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" world that we all boast about in so called first world countries!

Limin' in the Caribbean
06/19/2014 | David & Alex
OMG so totally agree with this :)

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