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• Maple syrup is sticky, of course, and that makes measuring a bit messy. If you’re using oil in the same recipe as syrup, measure the oil first and use the same utensil to measure the syrup, which will slip out of the oil-coated utensil easier than from a clean object.
• If you have some crystallized syrup at the bottom of the jar, don’t toss it. This is more likely to happen with small batches from home producers than a commercially made product. “We don’t have the same sophisticated equipment as commercial producers,” said Marrone. If you can’t dig out the crystals, simply put the container in some very hot water and let it sit a bit until it loosens up.
• Never turn your back on syrup that’s on the stove. It can burn or boil over quickly, and is both messy and dangerous, since it sticks to you and is hotter than boiling water. “People don’t respect it as much as they should,” said Marrone. “When you’re cooking with it, you need everything in its place — mise en place — before you start.”
• Experiment with some unfamiliar combos with maple as you’re cooking. Drizzle maple into your cappuccino or in a malted milk. Infuse bourbon with it or add it to a hot toddy. Roast root vegetables with it or caramelize onions with it. Add it to homemade granola or whip it into butter. “Modern Maple” and Marrone will guide you.
Follow Lee Svitak Dean on Twitter: @StribTaste