Sweet Things

There are a whole range of sweet tasting products which you can use to sweeten your food besides sugar. For centuries people have been tapping the sap of birch trees, yes! birch trees for a sugary water which is boiled down to make birch syrup.
And our old favourite maple syrup. The sap of the maple tree is tapped to bring us this wonderfully woody, sweet nectar. You can also find maple sugar some places, particularly in Canada where the industry is vibrant. I prefer to use a spoonful of maple sugar rather than real sugar if I have the opportunity. The fruit sugar fructose has a longer molecule structure than ordinary sugar which makes it a healthy alternative for people who are watching their glycaemic index - or following a GI diet.

This was a product I bring home from Madeira when I get the chance. It is just plain ordinary sugar cane molasses, or here in England we refer to it as treacle.

We cannot forget our old favourite, honey. I grew up on an allotment and one of my hobbies as a child was beekeeping. In fact, I was the only girl guide in Hanwell to have her beekeepers badge! (I am so proud). Did you know that folklore has it that if you eat honey which was made from bees which live near to you, it can lessen the effects of hay fever? Apparently it innoculates you with a dose of pollen from the nearby flowers. Is that true?