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Chat Leftovers: A sticky situation?

Weather systems may change daily, but here's one thing you can count on: Our weekly Free Range chat will start at 1 today and keep you entertained -- at least till 2. Joining the staff members will be Tim Artz, a.k.a. Washington Cooks DIY guy, who may be able to explain how the heck he manages all that culinary creation in his spare time.

We can never get to all the questions during the chat; this one has to do with storage, which has proven to be a bottomless topic:

Maple syrup in the freezer?: Have I ruined it or preserved it? I have a big, unopened can of pure maple syrup someone brought me from Vermont a few years ago. I read somewhere that I should freeze it, so that’s where it’s been for a long time: in the freezer door. I wonder if I’ve done something wrong . . . particularly since it is in a can, meaning metal.

Maple syrup in big ol' tins is near and dear to my heart. Both my parents were Canadian, and each summer we'd make the long family drive up from Florida to Ottawa or way out west, in the prairie provinces. On the way up, they'd fill a huge cooler with food for the road. On the way back, that cooler held gallon tins of amber maple syrup.

Those tins would go in our big chest freezer back at home. It's hard to remember how we managed to go through so much syrup, but I know the stuff would never freeze solid, and we never transferred the syrup to other containers until it was defrosted. I think one unopened tin might have been in the deep freeze for three years, with no ill effects.

When you do decide to tap into your stash, pour enough out to make sure it's mold-free and decant to a glass container. Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 year. One caveat: It's best to keep those long-term storage items in the back of your freezer instead of on the door, where they are subject to greater fluctuations in temperature.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  April 14, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers  | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, Chat Leftovers, food storage, maple syrup  
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