Monday, July 30, 2018

Salviana Raw Maguey Sap

When I was offered a sample of maguey sap from a company called Saviana (people send me lots of stuff to sample for free), I first had to ask what "pre-Hispanic" on the label meant. I'd ever seen that particular terminology before.

Easy answer: this is a food product that predated the time when Spaniards came to the Americas. In other words, the maguey is a native plant and the sap was being used by people who lived here a long time ago.

Okay, then.

After a little research, I found out that maguey is actually agave. Whether it's the same agave that goes into the agave syrup that you see on store shelves. It didn't taste like any agave syrup I've had, so perhaps it's because it's raw. Or maybe it's another species of agave. I really have no idea.

Like all the other natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, etc.) the maguey sap I got had a distinct scent and flavor. It reminded me a lot of corn. Now, when you're adding it to something, it's not like you're going to feel like you're gnawing on a corn cob while you're drinking your sweet tea. But it does have a corn-like aroma and flavor, so you might want to think about what you're adding it to and decide whether a hint of corn would be delicious or weird.

So far, I've added it to savory dishes, and just a little bit since savory doesn't need a lot of sweet. I think it would be lovely in cornbread or drizzled on cornbread, if that's the sort of thing you do. Or drizzled on chicken and waffles, if that's your thing. It was nice in a corn and bean salad I made, with just a little to balance the tartness of other ingredients. I'd use it for sure in corn muffins.

I think strong flavors would obliterate that hint of corn, particularly if you're not using a lot of it, but I think I'd hesitate to add it to anything with delicate flavor where corn would be a distraction.

So there we go. Raw maguey. Another first for me.

Yup, I got Salviana Raw Maguey Sap this for free.

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