Maple Syrup vs Pine Syrup?



I guess this is another one of those strange persistent mental connections… for some reason when I think of "maple syrup" I picture pine trees. When I think of trees being tapped, and sap being drained and collected to make maple syrup – I picture pine trees. Why? I don't know.

Here's the questions though: does anyone make Pine Syrup? I've never seen it. I've never heard of it. Is there a technical issue that makes it impractical to make syrup from pine sap? Does it taste horrible?

Edit (9/20/09):
I've found these available on amazon. They aren't made from the tree sap like maple syrup is, but I guess they're still considered "pine syrup". One is a "pine cone syrup" and the other a "pine code bud syrup". They both appear to be the exact same product though (same size, same manufacturer), just sold by two different shops. I couldn't find any "pine needle syrup".

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29 Comments »

  1. spudart (872 comments) said,

    don't they make lysol out of pine syrup?

    August 3, 2009 @ 11:41 pm


  2. sparx (871 comments) said,

    I think you're thinking Pine-sol – which is pine scented (the original pine scented one at least).

    Lysol, I believe, is mostly ethanol, with some other crazy thingies added that I can't remember.

    August 4, 2009 @ 8:15 am


  3. Tom (112 comments) said,

    As someone who grew up in the middle of pine trees I can tell you that pine sap is evil, sticky, tacky, unctous stuff. I don't know if Pine Sol is made with pine "syrup", but I know in Greece they make a wine from pine needles, and you can make a tea with them too.

    August 4, 2009 @ 8:38 am


  4. sparx (871 comments) said,

    Pine sap is evil.. and doesn't flow anything like maple tree sap.
    It seems like it would just be more work to make pine syrup, and that it would end up costing considerably more than maple. But since I've never seen expensive pine syrup… I'm going to have to come to the conclusion that it must taste horrible.

    August 4, 2009 @ 8:44 am


  5. sparx (871 comments) said,

    Now you know what you've got me thinking about?!

    Maple wine.

    If you watered down maple syrup, and then added your yeast to it and let it ferment.. what would you have? The fermentation would remove a great deal of the sweetness, leaving an alcohol infused liquid with a hint of maple.. and hopefully not an overwhelming sweetness.

    August 4, 2009 @ 8:47 am


  6. Cactus Joe (98 comments) said,

    Some pine trees are toxic. Ever see any grass growing under a pine tree? No. Why? Pine needles have an acidic component that nukes everything they touch.

    August 4, 2009 @ 9:40 am


  7. sparx (871 comments) said,

    Neat.. I just looked it up.
    Pine tar is slightly toxic.
    And used as an insecticide and microbiocide.

    I guess this question is answered. Thanks Joe!

    August 4, 2009 @ 9:45 am


  8. unlikelymoose (375 comments) said,

    Let's leave our trees alone. Poor trees. You saps trying to extract delicious pancake toppings from our trees. Let the trees be. Let the trees be.

    August 6, 2009 @ 12:09 pm


  9. sparx (871 comments) said,

    Psh.. you tree huggers.
    Most pancake toppings are just flavored corn syrup anyway. Are you going to try to give a voice to the corn as well now?

    August 6, 2009 @ 12:56 pm


  10. spudart (872 comments) said,

    sounds like you discovered the secret ingredient to Coca-Cola. Pine tar!

    August 17, 2009 @ 7:44 am


  11. Dan (2 comments) said,

    Actually, there IS a syrup made from pine tar. I just discovered it on my trip to Finland last week. It smells like, well, pine. It's a sugar syrup, like maple syrup, and it's VERY tasty. Unfortunately, it seems to be absolutely impossible to obtain in the US.

    Slightly more info:

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/the-worlds-strangest-souvenirs/1

    August 22, 2009 @ 8:33 pm


  12. cdozo (2 comments) said,

    There is a Pine Needle Syrup. I'd never heard of it until I read the post at http://community.livejournal.com/food_porn/5554897.html?style=mine#cutid1. It intrigued me so I did some searching.

    See http://www.google.com/search?q=pine+needle+syrup&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a.

    On a side note, Euell Gibbons tells about his experiments with eating different parts of a pine tree at http://www.ruralvermont.com/vermontweathervane/issues/winter/97012/eatpine.shtml.

    September 20, 2009 @ 10:01 am


  13. Matt (2 comments) said,

    I've tried pine sap before (this was freshly run sap, not the stuff that settles after a few hours) and it was actually pretty tasteless. Of course, the flavor could be different depending on the season and the species of the pine. The particular species I tapped it from was the Pinus taeda, also known as the Loblolly pine.

    November 8, 2009 @ 9:20 pm


  14. sparx (871 comments) said,

    I think you'll find the same with maple sap though. The maple sap is boiled down to just a fraction of its original volume – I think it's something like 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

    If you took 1 spoonful of syrup and added 39 spoonfuls of water to it.. the resulting "sap" would be pretty tasteless I would imagine.

    November 8, 2009 @ 9:49 pm


  15. jen (1 comments) said,

    i just found some pine syrup on a shelf in belgrade, serbia. it was between the honey and jams. i think i'm going to try some the next time i'm at that store. i was going to try to read about it to see if it's comparable to maple syrup. it costs 1/5 as much as maple syrup here.

    February 6, 2010 @ 4:41 am


  16. sparx (871 comments) said,

    Cool. If you do try it, let me know how it is! :)

    February 6, 2010 @ 9:15 am


  17. Matt (2 comments) said,

    Actually, there is a pine known as the sugar pine which grows in the mountains of California and Oregon. It produces a sweet, sugary sap which is edible. In fact, John Muir preferred syrup produced by sugar pine to maple syrup. So yes, pine syrup is certainly for real (at least from sugar pine). However, this is probably not something that is going to be commercially available. So unless you plan to come out to the Sierra and try tapping sugar pines, you are out of luck. By the way, sugar pine also produces pine nuts.

    March 4, 2010 @ 7:54 am


  18. Jim Morrison (3 comments) said,

    In answer to your question about Pine Syrup, I am living in Bulgaria and pine syrup is made here and is available everywhere although the best is the home made syrup you find up in the mountains, one of the cool things about it is that the home made syrup is sometimes steeped in wild blueberries or strawberries which gives it an added flavour , it's then sieved to create a dark syrup that is a little more thicker than maple but not as thick as honey. Price $.75 a litre from the mountains in the supermarket the manufactured syrup is about $1.50

    Totally organic as well no additives, colourings or flavour enhancers, great in tea and terrific with pancakes.

    May 27, 2010 @ 9:03 am


  19. Tom Taylor (1 comments) said,

    Hi Jim,

    I am interested in learning more about the pine syrup that is sold in Bulgaria. I would appreciate your sending me an email so we can communicate over obtaining a sample of this product. If it is as good as everyone says it is, I'd like to look more closely at developing some products.
    Thanks. Tom (send emails to ***@yahoo.com)

    July 15, 2010 @ 3:39 pm


  20. Jim Morrison (3 comments) said,

    Tom, email me on Jim at wasabemedia dot com

    regards

    Jim

    October 4, 2010 @ 1:22 pm


  21. jim c (1 comments) said,

    Back in the 1960s when I was a Boy Scout I loved to order things out of the Herter's catalog. Herter's was located in Waseca, Minnesota, and they had an inch-thick catalog with outdoor items including tents, firearms and hunting gear, etc. They even offered wild rice pancake flour and pine bark syrup. I ordered them more than once because they tasted great. In recent years I have been looking for a similar syrup but no luck yet. If anyone finds it, please tell me. Herter's was bought out by Cabela's, but the product hasn't been marketed for a generation.

    February 26, 2011 @ 11:44 am


  22. Karla B. (1 comments) said,

    Today I came across directions for Pine Syrup (Syrop z Sosny). The person's blog is in Polish, but there is a translator on the right side bar.
    Looks like they make it by harvesting the newly grown (branch) tips of pine trees, gathered in May. Essentially, they boil the tender tips in a liter of water for a couple of hours adding water so there is still a liter of water when done. To this you add sugar and cook a bit more. Strain and then bottle it. It doesn't say it needs to be refrigerated after opening like maple syrup usually does. One person commented that there are recipes for Pine Syrup that add lemon juice, but this one doesn't include that. It is just Pine tips, water and sugar. Here is the link if anyone would like to try and make it:
    http://justmydelicious.blogspot.com/2011/05/syrop-z-sosny.html

    May 17, 2011 @ 2:17 pm


  23. cdozo (2 comments) said,

    Thanks for the link, Karla. I'm going to tell my friends up north (where there are pine trees) about it. Hopefully they will make some. Then when I go to visit them I can try to.

    May 17, 2011 @ 3:10 pm


  24. Samantha (1 comments) said,

    There is an even easier way to make the syrup. No cooking required. Take pin tips in May. Put some tips in bottom of jar, cover with sugar, another layer of tips, more sugar and so on. Cover jar with cloth and put in sunny window for 30 days. Strain and bottle. This stuff is fabulous and none of the nutrients have been destroyed in the cooking process. I have 2 jars in my window right now. Love this stuff.

    May 27, 2011 @ 3:35 pm


  25. Jim Morrison (3 comments) said,

    Samantha is right, in general that's how you make it, in Bulgaria they also add wild blueberries or wild strawberries to the syrup to give it another flavour. It's delicious whatever way it's made and has all the nutrients intact, pine syrup with a slice of lemon and hot water is great when you have a cold or the flu.

    I'm seriously thinking about making a business out of collecting the syrup from the farmers up in the Rhodopi mountains and exporting it from Bulgaria if there is a demand.

    May 31, 2011 @ 7:32 am


  26. Florin (1 comments) said,

    Hello
    In Romania we make pine syrup at home.
    But you can buy it also.
    http://www.ilanplant.ro/produs/sirop-muguri-de-pin

    http://www.google.ro/search?hl=ro&q=sirop%20de%20pin&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=58325l60809l0l12l11l0l1l1l0l297l1252l1.4.2&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1420&bih=743&wrapid=tlif130742268593421&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

    June 7, 2011 @ 12:00 am


  27. Barbara (1 comments) said,

    If I remember reading once – John Muir LOVED Sugar Pine Syrup. And, I disagree with writer above – if it could be harvested in a sound way, I fully support it.

    June 13, 2011 @ 10:50 am


  28. Alison Jacobs (1 comments) said,

    Pine sap syrup is hard to find but I have bought it a couple of times in Austria, most recently at the Lindlingalm in Saalbach where they make their own. I paid 6 euros for a big jar. The lady there said most people don't make it because of the work involved in tapping it and boiling it up.

    It tastes great, darker in colour and flavour than maple syrup and is supposed to be good for chest complaints. If you can find it, I'd certainly recommend it.

    August 12, 2011 @ 5:17 am


  29. Crystal (1 comments) said,

    If you're looking for pine syrup made from actual sap, there's a company called Edible Wilds that offers it. They boil the sap out of sustainably harvested branches from the blue spruce tree then boil the water out of it and add some natural sugars to add more sweetness. I have it on a regular basis and it is delicious. Check it out at http://www.ediblewilds.us

    October 4, 2013 @ 1:24 am


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