While Birch Syrup is a unique taste unto its own, it is useful when describing Birch to compare it to more familiar flavors, but the one thing you may be surprised to learn is that we don't compare it to Maple Syrup…….at……….all.
Birch and Maple may be similar in color, viscosity, and texture, but the similarity ends there. While both are derived from tree sap, they have totally different flavor profiles which makes their general applications very different. The difference is to such a degree that we don't consider Maple Syrup a competing product but rather a complimenting one which can be used together to create fabulous dishes.
Maple is for pancakes and foods that can tolerate a high level of sweetness. Birch is a culinary syrup that gets its "gold star" for lending flavor dimension to whole foods, recipes and cocktails, with the added benefit that you can always add sweetness if it is desired. Like our Mamma used to say when it came to salt and sugar, "you can always add but you can't take away!".
Birch has great depth of flavor, is not intensely sweet like Maple, and takes on different flavor dimension depending on how it is paired. For example, when added to dairy such as whipped cream, cream cheese or ice cream it results in a rich toffee flavor and finishes with a bit of tang that leaves you craving the next bite...kind of like the infamous sweet & sour effect. When paired with fruit and berries, its fruity notes come alive adding just the right amount of sweetness to enhance but not overpower the fruit. It is because of this chameleon-like behavior that Birch has great versatility in the kitchen, and is delicious with meat, veggies, fruit, berries, grains, nuts, dairy, cheese and liquor, especially whiskeys & bourbon. Applications range from grilling, roasting, sauces, marinades, and dressings to baking, desserts, toppings and flavorings.