Nothing says New England in this season more than maple syrup. And it turns out that even the most densely populated community in the region — Somerville — has a sugar shack of its own.
It comes from the folks at the community nonprofit Groundwork Somerville, which uses the maple-syrup process as the basis for a 2nd-grade curriculum in the Somerville public schools.
"This year the winter has been very strange, and we really had no idea if we were going to get much of a sap flow at all," said Tai Dinnan, gardens coordinator at Groundwork Somerville. "We never got a deep freeze. In fact, it went above and below freezing almost every day for the whole winter."
The crew tapped the trees two weeks earlier than usual and found the sap was indeed running, but at a lower sugar content than last year. But as Andy Husbands found, once boiled down into maple syrup, it was plenty sweet enough to form the foundation of his "wicked good" barbecue sauce.
Here's the recipe:
Wicked Good Maple BBQ Sauce
Adapted from "Wicked Good Barbecue"
By Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, Andrea Pyenson
2 1/4 cups maple syrup
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp toasted ground cumin
½ tsp ground szechuan pepper corns
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp cayenne
2 cups ketchup
1 tbs bbq spices, your favorite store-bought or from our book
Combine the maple & vinegar in a small sauce pan over high heat, add spices, simmer for 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add ketchup and BBQ spice. Simmer for ten minutes stirring frequently.
- Andy Husbands, chef at Tremont 647 in the South End
This segment aired on March 30, 2012.