Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Food Ethnography on a Budget: Eastern Woodlands II: Wild Rice and Maple Syrup

My next sample of Eastern Woodlands food - in this case, something clearly from the northern reaches of the Northeastern Woodlands - was a dessert. In her New Native American Cooking, Dale Carson does not have a recipe for "Wild Rice and Maple Syrup," per se. Why should she? It's ridiculously simple to do. All she advises is to take cold wild rice and slather it with maple syrup. She says it is one of the tastiest and most simple desserts one can eat.

But it sounds gross! Doesn't it?

Before attempting this very simple recipe, I had to remind myself that there are various examples of rice used in a dessert context in Asia (yes, I know wild rice is technically not rice but a different grain altogether). Anyone who has sampled the kheer rice porridge at your local Indian buffet knows that rice and sweetness work together. In fact, there are lots of grains that taste great when covered in something sweet and sticky. Oatmeal most readily comes to mind. Still, it sounded weird at first. It shouldn't have, but for someone with little experience consuming either wild rice or maple syrup, I just had to reorient myself to the concept.

I had both ingredients just lying around from the previous night's venison stew, so it cost me absolutely nothing extra.

It was just as easy as Carson made it sound: scoop wild rice in a bowl, cover it with maple syrup to your liking, done.

I am a convert. It was actually quite tasty! It went even better with whipped cream on top.


Anonymous said...

yuuummm...heat & add butter and you've got the best breakfast ever (well, almost best ever).