Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Damn Yankees!, rev. ed.

One of the many advantages of living with someone who works in the pastry kitchen of an upscale restaurant like Les Chèvres (someone like Michelle), is that you're constantly being spoiled with little late-night treats. More often than not, these treats are either leftover desserts or recipe tests (delicious ones, mind you), but occasionally they're specialties that have just arrived at the restaurant for the first time, or, better yet, specialties brought back from distant and not-so-distant travels.

Two weeks ago I came home late one night to find this waiting for me on the kitchen table:

blis maple syrup

The note says it all: "BLIS maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels #348 (organic) 12-18 mths." Here was an organic maple syrup created by the folks at BLiS Caviar of all places, that had been aged in bourbon casks they'd sourced in Kentucky for about 12-18 months. Where did it come from? Well, Stelio, the chef at Les Chèvres, had come across it at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago. He was so impressed he brought some home, and for some reason he was convinced that Michelle would be particularly interested in his find. He was right. The bottom line: it was phenomenal, rich in flavor and imbued with the loveliest, warmest smokiness you could imagine. I'm not prone to toss around the term "genius," but in this case I was tempted. As varied, interesting, and innovative as the food cultures of Canada are--especially in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, but elsewhere too--we're constantly amazed by the Yankee ingenuity we find south of the border. Here we are living in probably the world's greatest maple syrup producing region, and have we ever heard of anyone ageing their premium, organic maple syrup in casks of any kind? Quite simply, no.

Which is why we'd like to initiate the "...an endless banquet" Maple Syrup Challenge. And, hell, if none of you savvy Canuck/Quebecois maple syrup producers out there want to take us up on this, we might very well do it ourselves. Just watch us.

In the meantime, however, if anyone wants to round up some BLiS maple syrup and send it to us, we'd be happy to pay top dollar.

aj

P.S. All right, so I talked to someone at Mikuni Wild Harvest (who distribute BLiS maple syrup in North America) today and there'd be no problem getting some bottles of BLiS shipped here from their warehouse in Vancouver. A 750-ml bottle of the bourbon-cask type runs for $29.95. Then there's the cost of shipping, which is pretty pricey for a single bottle but becomes more affordable for a multi-bottle order. Anyone here in Montreal & environs interested in going in on an order with us should contact us ASAP via my e-mail address. I'd like to place an order by early next week at the latest. Please put something about maple syrup in the subject field of your e-mail.

8 comments:

JoyBugaloo said...

Wow! That sounds like wonderful stuff! You can order it here:

www.mikuniwildharvest.com

--Gina (lindseysluscious.blogspot.com)

aj kinik said...

Thanks, Gina
I hadn't come across their site before, and, yes, you're right, they do offer BLiS maple syrup--just look at those beautiful wax-sealed bottles. Great work. Looks like they might ship from Vancouver, too, which would mean no nasty duty. Happy days.

Franck said...

I have heard of this product from different restaurants(alinea,per se, keyah grande(ideasinfood), they even had a maple syrup contests last christmas. I totaly agree with you on this, I don't know why someone up here isn't doing this. Let us know if you end up ordering some from mikuni or if you have to do a bulk ordering I'd be up for sharing)

Franck(directionsinfood.blogspot.com)

Ades said...

I tend to like a little maple in my whiskey but never thought of putting a little whiskey in my maple!

Connie said...

I agree with Franck, please do let us know!

aj kinik said...

okay, that does it--i'm going to look into it--stay tuned...

aj kinik said...

All right, so I talked to someone at Mikuni today and there'd be no problem getting some bottles of BLiS shipped here from their warehouse in Vancouver. A 750-ml bottle runs for $29.95. Then there's the cost of shipping, which is pretty pricey for a single bottle but becomes more affordable for a multi-bottle order. Anyone here in Montreal & environs interested in going in on an order with us should contact us ASAP via my e-mail address. I'd like to place an order by early next week at the latest. Please put something about maple syrup in the subject field of your e-mail.

idlewest said...

You can buy this stuff at the Whole Foods Market in Vancouver, might want to check the stores in Toronto.