hickory syrup

“Want a taste?” Joyce and Travis Miller tempted passersby with a promise to try something completely new. Their Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup delivers: filling my mouth with comforting wisps of smoky sweetness. One velvety sip left me looking for the nearest cozy chair and a spare spoon.

The unique flavor’s origin is no less intriguing: the Miller’s make their syrup by collecting fallen bark from the shagbark hickory tree. Shagbark Hickory, common in the Eastern United States and easily identifiable by its namesake’s shaggy-looking bark, can be used to smoke meat. Instead the Miller’s roast, brew, steep, and put the bark through an extraction process before allowing it to age. Raw turbinado sugar is added at the end, giving the syrup a subtle honey-nut flavor.

Hickory Syrup adds a savory twist as a traditional syrup on pancakes, French toast, and waffles but breakfast is not the only place to enjoy the syrup’s satisfying earthiness. The syrup smolders when added to a glaze or grilling sauce, reminding one of a late fall night around the fire pit. It pairs especially well with mustard or garlic and hot sauce. The Miller’s also note it can used to kick up salad dressings and add a daring twist to whipped cream and frostings. This is, of course, if you can save some for cooking and resist the urge to dip your fingers in the jar while it sits in the pantry. Both ways, it has managed to bring a smile to my face.

Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup is currently available at the following establishments:

Stoneybrook Farm
Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery
Purcellville Community Market
Midas Touch Health Food
Very Virginia
Hill High Orchards

Wildwood Pork Chops

4 pork chops
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup Wildwood’s hickory syrup
1 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Tabasco sauce

Mix salt, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon and rub onto pork chops.

Brown chops in a skillet with olive oil for 4 minutes per side. Transfer pork chops to an oven proof baking pan.

Mix Wildwood’s hickory syrup, brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco sauce. Add this glaze mixture to pork chops and bake for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

This product was reviewed by Nicole Kirkwood-Cisz. Nicole is a busy new mother with over a decade of experience messing up her kitchen. What she utterly lacks in culinary technique, she makes up with a passionate love of exploring new flavors, foods, and restaurants. She can’t wait to start traveling with her newborn so she can introduce him to some of the wonders of the world: street samosas in Pakistan, fresh mangosteen in Thailand or the comfort of mom’s meatloaf in the kitchen.

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