Now that New York City has had its first snowfall, no matter how pitiful of a flurry it was, it’s time to think about maple taffy, that glorious confection invented by our friends up north who can’t ever drive to the grocery store because there’s far too much snow on the ground.
Making maple taffy isn’t as easy as pouring maple syrup on snow. That just leads to maple-flavored snow, unfortunately. But here’s a simple recipe that’s appropriate for New York City dwellers.
1. Go to some ritzy food shop in Park Slope or the like and buy an expensive bottle of maple syrup that was tapped by little Vermont children who wear plaid year-round.
2. Wait for a heavy snowfall. As soon as you think there might be an inch of snow, bring a cup of maple syrup to a boil. Don’t wait too long or the snow will be black and slushy by the time your syrup is done cooking. Don’t stir the syrup either, as it might crystallize. If you have a candy thermometer, cook until your syrup is about 240 degrees. Pour it into a thermos and keep warm.
3. Run outside before the snow gets even dirtier. You have about a 10-minute window.
4. Find a car (ideally one with an out-of-state license plate, since it’ll take pity on you for having to make maple taffy in the Big Bad City), and push the snow that’s collected on the hood to form a block of ice.
5. Pour the maple syrup out in a thin stream. Once it sticks slightly, use a tongue depressor and roll your taffy onto the stick so that a lollipop-like ball is on top.
6. Savor that taste of idyllic country life. Then realize what a pain it is to make maple taffy, and begin looking for stores who will sell it to you.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2010