Crown Maple syrup

Sweet, superlative blends from New York’s Dutchess County

When it comes to maple syrup, I consider myself something of a connoisseur​, since I was raised in Vermont in northern New England. The Green Mountain state produces more of this golden liquid than any other in the US, and is responsible for over five per cent of the world’s supply. Suffice to say, Vermonters know sugary goodness when they taste it, so you’ll trust me when I tell you that Crown Maple’s Amber Color and Rich Taste ($17 for 375ml) is something special – a nuanced, almost butterscotch blend produced from 1,500 acres of forested terroir in Dutchess County, New York.

From the Golden Color and Delicate Taste to the Very Dark Color and Strong Taste varieties, Crown Maple syrups begin life on the Madava Farms property owned by Robb and Lydia Turner. The duo tap sweet sap from sustainably managed sugar and red maple trees, put it through a reverse osmosis unit and then process the remaining sap in their custom-made three-stage evaporator, where the temperature can be tightly controlled. The results range from mild, light versions to thicker, richer types that can be used in baking or instead of sugar in coffee or cocktails.

But credit where credit is due: to The Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, Long Island, for cooking the most delicious lemon ricotta pancakes I’ve ever tasted, as well as to my daughter for having the good sense to order them. It was these wonderfully dense, hubcap-sized pancakes that provided the vehicle for our tantalising, chicly packaged (no hokey jug here, but a stylish bottle) discovery.

A comprehensive, informative website allows e-commerce within the US (try Amazon for international deliveries) and provides titbits of fascinating information for syrup fans: who knew, for example, that maple syrup has a higher antioxidant value than raw cabbage, tomatoes or cantaloupe?

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The makers describe their certified-organic, non-GMO syrups as “estate grown for unmatched purity, and single-estate bottled to ensure superior quality”. It sounds almost like a description of a fine Lafite, but to me, Crown Maple syrup atop a stack of pancakes would taste even better…

Let your sweet tooth reign supreme with these limited-edition summertime delights at Pierre Hermé’s London shop, or Michelin-starred tea and cake below Maison Guerlain’s chic Champs Elysées store.

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