At Fallen Leaves Maple Products, we believe that great conversations go hand in hand with great food whether it is a full meal or a quick snack. The melodic cadence of sharing of our experiences and laughter coupled with the aroma and taste of food stimulate our senses. It relaxes yet invigorates our spirit at the same time. It builds up memories that can be unleashed when a similar smell or taste occurs. These treasured memories help us get through lockdowns and remind us that we have more great conversations to look forward to.
The other day I was going through the kitchen cupboards searching the ingredients for a snack. I did not want a salty snack or sweet snack - I wanted an umami snack. A snack that was mildly sweet and savory that left a lingering flavour on my tongue. And only this would satisfy my craving. I spotted a can of water chestnuts and immediately knew what I was wanting. I checked to make sure I had the ingredients and got busy on what we consider a special treat.
I was given this recipe many years ago and we have affectionately named it bacon candy. The recipe's name I was given was bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, but we altered the recipe to help reduce the sodium and make it healthier, so we felt it earned a name change. All ingredients are found in a grocery store except for one special change. Lucky for us, we make the ingredient by tapping the birch trees in our Sault Ste Marie maple sugar bush. It can also be purchased on our online store.
We marinate the water chestnuts in our birch syrup. The birch syrup gives the water chestnuts a slightly sweet soy sauce flavour. We get a similar taste profile of soy sauce without the sodium and with the addition of antioxidants that birch syrup provides. This is one of the few birch recipes we have that use more than a tablespoon of syrup, but the marinating sauce can be saved in the fridge for a few days and used in a stir fry. These bacon-wrapped water chestnuts give the smoky taste of bacon with the crunch of water chestnuts followed by the umami of the birch syrup marinade.
This recipe has been our favorite for when we have expected and unexpected guests. It is quick to make, and it is quickly gobbled up by everyone. A sad look crosses everyone’s face when the plate is empty. As I enjoyed my snack it brought back great memories of the many friends and family we have entertained in our home. The great conversations, the laughter, and the love we have shared, and we look forward to enjoying these times again.
Fallen Leaves Bacon Appetizer with Birch Syrup Marinade
Yield: 16 pieces
Prep time: 1 hour 10 mins.
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
- ¼ cup Fallen Leaves Birch Syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 oz. can of water chestnuts- drained
- 1 lb. bacon
- In a small bowl combine birch syrup, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Mix well.
- Add the drained water chestnuts and ensure they are covered by the birch syrup mixture. Let marinate for 1-hour stirring occasionally.
- Remove the water chestnuts (Leftover sauce can be covered, refrigerated, and used within a few days in a stir fry)
- Slice bacon in half
- Wrap each chestnut with a half slice of bacon.
- Secure the bacon to the chestnut with a toothpick.
- Place in a shallow baking dish.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Let rest on paper towel for 5 minutes.