Kelly the Culinarian: Food find: Maple sugar block

Friday, November 9, 2007

Food find: Maple sugar block

I found this little gem at a farmer's market a couple of weeks ago. I stopped to chat with a woman whose family has been in the sugar business for three generations. Patterson Farms creates all kind of maple products, including syrup, candy, cream and my favorite, the block.

I did not know anything about this versatile and affordable product until I stopped to chat with Mary. Turns out this is how the colonial settlers stored sugar and according to the Patterson Web site, families just scraped what they needed off the block for meals, canning and baking.

It's made by pouring maple syrup into a mold, then allowing it to dry and harden, creating dense blocks that are cut up into portions the size of a bar of soap. Not only does this creation keep at room temperature for months, it's has myriad uses. For example, you can grate the block into oatmeal or use it to top cookies. You can mix a chunk with hot water and reconstitute it into syrup. You can also break off a little piece and eat it like candy.

This was $3 very well spent because this little find is so versatile. While I don't see the product listed on the company's Web site, I'm sure if you called the Patterson Farm at (814)628-3751, they'd be more than happy to figure out a way to get you a portion.

12 comments:

Michael said...

Nice find! I love maple sugar but usually only see it sold as little candies, not a decent sized block.

Serena said...

In Malaysia, we have something similar called Gula Melaka or Palm Sugar. Gula Melaka

Thanks for visiting Nature Delight.

Serena
ChatnChill

Liza said...

Hi Kelly! Thanks for the comment :) You have a very interesting blog... i like it. Did you know that my store's name is Food Finds ;) Happy weekend.

Jeena said...

Hi Kelly thanks for stopping by my blog. I wish I had a block of maple syrup it looks fantastic. I have only ever had liquid maple syrup. Great post. :)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Kelly,

What a great idea for a blog. Great post!!! We have local sugar maple syrup that's sold in Northern Michigan and a great treat to find. :D But I've not found any blocks of it.

I can't wait to see what treat you come up with next. :D

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the compliment.

Good luck with your studies. You have a great career ahead of you.

JJ :D

Asha said...

How gorgeous!! I love pure Maple syrup which is expensive! This would be prefect.
We have Jaggery blocks like this we use in Indian desserts which is unrefined brown sugar or molasses blocks!:))

kml said...

I am in Maple syrup country, and have only seen the sugar candy which is very soft. This seems like quite a chunk that can be used i many ways. Great find!

Thanks for visiting - I will be back - you have some great info here!

Wind said...

Hi Kelly, thanks for visiting my blog. I have never heard of maple sugar before. It sounds like a good idea to have it as it should be less messy. But I don't think I've seen it here in the UK...

Kitt said...

I would so be eating all of that faster than I could find a cooking use for it. Like maybe a few hours.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Adding you to my lineup!

Steven said...

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for the post on my blog - you should certainly get that herb garden going next spring... i'll be cramming my garden with all sorts of vegetal madness. I love the look of the Maple block btw...
Steven.

Kevin said...

Maple sugar sounds really interesting. I will have to look for some.

Cakespy said...

Very nice find! Like Michael said above, you usually don't see it in big blocks like this. Excellent sleuthing!