A leafy tree, known from ancient times as the medicinal plant used in treating many diseases, the birch tree is also known as the “tree of life.”
Birch sap contains Xylitol. It fights some of the bacteria that causes middle ear, sinus infections and tooth decay, and it’s roughly as sweet as sugar with only about 2/3 as many calories. It can cause a pronounced laxative effect when it’s consumed in excess. A little birch sugar can be useful for fighting bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract as well.
Birch syrup is a savory mineral tasting syrup made from the sap of birch trees and produced in much the same way as maple syrup. It is seldom used for pancake or waffle syrup, more often it is used in sauces, glazing, and dressings. It is condensed from the sap, which has about 0.5-2% sugar content, depending on the species of birch, location, weather, and season. The finished syrup is 66% sugar or more to be classified as a syrup. Birch sap sugar is about 42-54% fructose and 45% glucose, with a small amount of sucrose and trace amounts of galactose. The flavor of birch syrup has a distinctive and mineral-rich caramel-like taste that is not unlike molasses or balsamic condiment, or some types of soy, with hints of spiciness. Different types of birch will produce slightly different flavor profiles; some more copper, others with hints of wildflower honey. Many people remark that while birch syrup has the same sugar content of maple, it is far more savory than sweet.