Part of the joy of travelling for many foodies is exploring new tastes and products. Here in the Test Kitchen we are no different. We especially like to share them with each other, taste, discuss and critique. I just returned from an exceptional and exciting trip to the North West Territories with my colleague Rheanna Kish. This visit, sponsored by Northwest Territories Tourism, is part of our Cross- Canada series, featured monthly until July 2012 in Canadian Living. Although NWT isn't slated until July 2012, here is a sneak peak at one of the exciting local products we brought back to sample in the Test Kitchen- Sapsucker Birch Syrup. Dwayne Wohlgemuth, one third of the Arctic Harvest team invited us into his LEED home for a taste of this local treat. You can read more about Dwayne and his partners in A Taste for the North. We sampled three of their local syrups under the Sapsucker label. Each in a 50 mL bottle and sold locally in Yellowknife, NWT for $9.oo. The syrups they are producing are Early Harvest, Late Harvest, and Maple Birch. [caption id="attachment_2466" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Early Harvest, Maple Birch and Late Harvest Birch Syrup"] [/caption] The syrup is runnier and darker than maple syrup. [caption id="attachment_2465" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Birch Syrup is thinner than maple syrup"] [/caption] We tasted each of them. [caption id="attachment_2467" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Tasting Birch Syrup in the Test Kitchen (l to r) Adell Shneer and Irene Fong "] [/caption] What we discovered is that birch syrup is deep and delicious. It has a rich deep flavour with notes of molasses, soy and is slightly tart and savoury. Unlike other syrups which are used for pancakes and waffles we think the flavour profile of birch syrup will pair best with game meat, beef, cheese and fish. In fact, last night, I marinated salmon filets with a little birch syrup, lemon juice, sesame oil and a few chopped shallots and baked it in a hot oven. When it came out of the oven I put a drizzle of additional birch syrup overtop. It was superb! Birch syrup is also produced in other regions in Canada. Have you tried birch syrup? What did you use it on? Did you like it?