The Story of Our Shagbark Hickory Syrup
Ever heard of shagbark hickory syrup? I know you’ve heard of maple syrup, made from the sap of a maple tree.
Shagbark hickory also goes by the name of Scalybark Hickory, but they’re both the same tree. The latin binomial name is Carya ovata.
Well the shagbark syrup is different than maple syrup. Although the tree can be tapped, for this one, it’s the bark that is used.
My husband comes up with some tasty ideas for things to make here on the Wild Ozark homestead. Last time it was home roasted coffee. That was so successful it’s now one of our homestead standards.
This time his idea was shagbark hickory syrup.
Skeptical? I was too. This is how the bark of a shagbark hickory looks.
Apparently, this kind of syrup is an old-timey thing. There are lots of variations on the recipe online. Rob was looking up recipes for hickory pie (like pecan pie but using hickories instead) and he stumbled on a post about the syrup and his creative wheels started turning.
We gathered nuts the in fall with plans to make things from them when the weather turned.
We gathered bark, too, because the idea of making syrup from it sure did intrigue.
On a Friday eve that fall, Rob made the syrup. And, like the coffee, it was so delicious it’s going to become another must-have in our cupboard!
A basic recipe for Shagbark Hickory Syrup
Rob modified the original recipe some to make it taste more like we like and you can do the same to suit your own tastes. Here’s a rough outline of how it’s done:
- Gather bark from the tree
- Clean bark by washing and scrubbing
- Break bark into smaller pieces
- Roast bark in the oven
- Add bark to a pot and cover by several inches with water
- Decoct the bark by cooking on very low heat (no boiling, no bubbles breaking)
- Remove bark from water, strain liquid, return to pot
- Decoct to concentrate to nice dark color
- Add a little cream of tartar to keep it from crystallizing
- For each cup of liquid add 2 cups sugar
- Cook until sugar is completely dissolved
- Pour into jars
We’re now cooking large batches at the Food Innovation Kitchen in Fayetteville Arkansas. Soon we’ll be able to sell wholesale and retail nationwide!
If you know of any good chefs who might like to try our product in their kitchens, let me know. Or let them know! I’ll send samples to anyone interested in wholesale purchase.
We’ll sell them retail at $10/bottle, wholesale at a discount according to volume ordered.
Want to Stay Informed?
Taking pre-orders now!
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.
Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark
- Spread the Word
Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.
- Buy a Book
- Shop at our Nature Boutique
Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.
- Become a Patron
A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark
Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods