My mother-in-law knows that my husband and I appreciate locally made and manufactured foodstuffs (and nonfoodstuffs for that matter, as our Libbey glass dishware can attest). That is why our Christmas gift from her included a gift basket of locally made cheese, chocolate, baked goods, and beverages. It was probably one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received in the way that it was so catered to our tastes. It went over so well that, for his birthday, my husband received a bottle of Soaring Hill Hickory Syrup from a shop in Tecumseh, MI.
The company is located in Adrain, MI, in the city where my husband I met and went to undergraduate school together. I have a lot of good times bottled up in Adrian, and I had high hopes for this sugary concoction. Thus, when a weekend morning of leisure breakfasting presented itself (and those aren't easy to come by), the pancakes were made and all three of us--the husband, the son, and I-- all sat down for a taste test.
Neither of us had ever tasted hickory syrup before and we were a little skeptical. According to the label, hickory syrup is not tapped as maple syrup is. Rather, hickory bark is boiled with sugar to produce a syrup consistency. I was hoping that even if it didn't taste all that great as a syrup, we could use it as a marinade for tofu or tempeh or even ham or chicken for the boys.
All that worry was for nought, though, because hickory syrup is smooth and sweet and tangy and delightful. It's sweetness is light, while the hickory taste gives it depth and interest. Best of all, this treat comes with a ecological stamp of approval. If syrup wasn't slow enough drizzling from bottle to plate, this locally-made, small-business-created syrup is slow food at its best. I hope that you too will consider keeping Soaring Hill in business. I know I plan on doing my part.