Vermont Maple & Smoke
My wife and I took month long honeymoon in India, which was an amazing and bonding experience for us both. After returning home in mid April I wanted to have some time for sage reflection, so I went camping for a few days on the banks of the Waterbury Reservoir near Stowe VT. While basking in some early spring weather I did something I had read about in some wild foraging books, and I cut a small notch in a birch tree and inserted a small strip of bark. Low and behold drips of sap water began to spill out, about once a second. I was thrilled, and collected the dripping sap in a metal cup. After a few hours I only had about a cup of liquid, but I reduced it on the coals of my fire until it what I was left with was a lightly sweet drink tasting of marshmallows and birch beer. The whole process seemed so perfectly in harmony with that very natural of places, and I was excited by the prospects of tapping maple and birch in the future, and with the memories of spices of India still ringing in my head I pondered what possibilities where flowing through the trunks of those trees in that cold forest.
From then on year after year I tapped a small grove a trees, each year getting more and more syrup boiling sap and fogging up the windows of our home. I would spend snowy winters days applying that syrup to different sauce preparations, searching for recipes we would some day try and bring to the streets.
See Chef Brian Stefan's Bio Here