Always looking for flavors unique to a destination, I was
fascinated to find that there was a sort of rivalry between the East and West
Coast regarding … syrup. Yes, I said syrup. I bet you know all
about maple syrup and maybe recently drizzled it on pancakes or oatmeal.
But have you heard of its distant cousin, birch syrup?
While maple syrup is the sweet product of North Eastern states such as Vermont
and Maine, birch syrup is harvested from birch trees in Alaska and the Yukon
territories. I first experienced it in Vancouver while shopping at the
Granville Island Public Market. This maple impostor intrigued me.
I sampled a small taste from a spoon and its tangy and
subtly sweet flavor had me hooked. I bought a couple of bottles as
souvenirs to cook with at home and found that it's a great fish marinade.
If you happen to be traveling in the Northwest of the USA or Canada, pick up a
bottle! Here's a recipe to test it out.
Birch Barbecued Alaskan Salmon
2 lbs Salmon
1 Cup Birch Syrup
1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine birch syrup and remaining marinade ingredients in a glass or plastic
container. Add fish to marinade and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover and
refrigerate for a minimum of two hours or let it marinate overnight.
Barbecue on a hot grill for 20 – 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the
If you can't BBQ, try it baked!