Sunday, August 19, 2007

The fungus in my maple syrup

Kathie Hodge writes about an uninvited guest at her morning breakfast in the Cornell Mushroom Blog. "As I poured maple syrup over my son’s waffle, Plop! A perfect dime-sized fungus colony spilled out to crown that waffle like a malevolent pat of butter," she writes.
"A fungus that can grow in maple syrup is not your average everyday mold, it’s a xerophile. Xerophiles grow in places that are too dry and hostile for your average fungus. OK, maple syrup is wet, but it’s also extremely high in sugar. All that sugar has the effect of pulling water out of cells, and the vast majority of fungi can’t grow in maple syrup at all."
"...[M]aple syrup typically has a water activity of about 0.87 to 0.88, pretty hostile to most molds. Only a few xerophiles can live in it, including our surprise guest, Wallemia sebi."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Real Maple Syrup Pancake Feed

If you're in the vicinity of Hancock, Iowa, on the morning of 18 August, swing by the Botna Bend Park (42926 Mahogany Road) for the annual "Real Maple Syrup Pancake Feed" between 8:30 and 11 a.m.

Back in March, the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation tapped the park's enormous maple trees and boiled down the sap to make this delicious treat. Grilled pancakes will be served with sausage, orange juice and coffee.

Cost? "Free will donations accepted."

There's more here and here, or call 712:741-5465 for more information.