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Article: The elusive hickory syrup: Ever hear of birch water?

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Forum: Article: The elusive hickory syrupReplies: 7, Views: 54
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Ishtar64
Cedartown, GA

November 23, 2009
8:28 PM

Post #7303297

When I was a kid my mother's friends brought us some birch water. It was slightly sweet and had tiny bits of bark in it. This liquid was the raw sap tapped from birches, and I remember it being tasty.
My mother said in her home of Latvia it was common to tap the birches when the sap ran. Also, the sap was sometimes boiled down - into birch syrup.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 23, 2009
11:28 PM

Post #7303910

Wow, no I have never heard of that! Interesting. I'm interested to see if I can find more about that somewhere.
Thanks for your comments.

eskarp
Albuquerque, NM

November 23, 2009
11:40 PM

Post #7303945

My grandfather (a Midwesterner) used to allude to "birch beer" which was fermented like root beer but made from some sort of extract of birchbark, or root, I think. I have NO idea of the process. I'd also heard of birch syrup from a Canadian friend.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 24, 2009
4:20 PM

Post #7305875

Then there's also sassafras roots. We often dig those up and they smell so good! I let my kids boil some for a 'tea' but we were all chicken about sampling it.
suzan777
Dairy, OR

November 25, 2009
1:37 AM

Post #7307413

Sassafras tea is something my husband and I use to brew each spring. It is wonderful,and good for the body. The older folks talked about it being a spring tonic, as it gave a little boost to the system. so don,t be affraid to dig up those roots and get brewin[ a little sweetner enhanses the flavor

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 25, 2009
12:50 PM

Post #7308243

suzan--Interesting-- we have mature sassafras and constantly get suckers from the roots so they'd be easy to find.
But I feel I must point out that the medical community gives warnings against drinking sassafras tea; here's one website
http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/PPI/UnconventionalTherapies/SassafrasTea.htm

This message was edited Nov 25, 2009 7:58 AM
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

November 30, 2009
7:39 PM

Post #7322513

Yes, I too have read that it can cause cancer - sassafras tea that is. It was in an Environmental Health text book.
I had an uncle that made it once. He came down here from Ohio, we had just cleared some land and he took some sassafras roots back with him. He said he took it into work and drank it there. He got very sick off of it.
Birch now that is a nice bark, there is one variety that has a sweet wintergreen taste to it. My mother has one in her yard. My kids and the family constantly break small twigs out of it and chew it's bark. I wonder what kind of birch that is?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 1, 2009
5:46 PM

Post #7325321

Oh, I went camping once with an experienced camper who pointed out a sweet birch to us. I am not too well versed on trees (beyond knowing a birch from an oak, say), I have lots of river birch around me.
Hee's some info
http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch

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