Sunday, March 18, 2007

Maple syrup's Mexican cousin

I'm not one for a food fad - when Delia decreed, I demurred - but the Independent knew just how to get me yesterday.

Maple syrup is one of the greatest things ever to come from a tree. Screw apples! Forget crisp autumnal leaves in russet and golden shades fluttering gracefully to the ground! So when I read that there was a new, healthier cousin of maple syrup on the market, well, I had to drive straight off to Waitrose.

This miracle sauce is called Agave Nectar and is extracted by squeezing the Blue Weber agave cactus (right), commonly found in Mexico. It's better than maple syrup, apparently, because its sugar is fructose and this gives it a low Glycaemic Index (get me, all health-aware).

All I know is that it tastes heavenly. It has a cherry tang and leaves no aftertaste, and is nowhere near as thick or artificial as golden syrup. I have the rich, darker version, but for those who are not seasoned syrup-heads and are not willing to go in at the deep end, there is a mild version.

So until the USA can come up with something better, I'll be over-leaping it from Canada to Mexico.

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