Cincinnati is known for many a culinary legacy: Glier's goetta, Graeter's ice cream, Skyline's chili, Motz's maple syrup.
Maple syrup? Sure enough. Some of the finest syrup in the state, if not this side of Vermont, is sifted amid the forests maintained by Matt and Bart Motz and their families in Anderson Township.
It's a rite of passage for certain East-siders each winter to help tap the first syrup of the season at the Clough Valley Maple Syrup Farms on Clough Pike. The spigots begin running in January. Soon after, limited quanities of the nectar go on sale. The Motzes produce only 900 pints of the dark amber maple syrup, but nonetheless the foodstuff won a blue ribbon at the Ohio State Fair.
This East side culinary institution began with one drill, six trees and a couple of empty milk jugs. Now, six miles of tubing speeds the process. The sap continues running through March, and visitors are welcome at the boilings. Try pouring a hot tablespoon of Clough Valley on a cup of snow; it freezes into hard maple candy. Pure ambrosia.
The amazing amber — sifted from 800 trees near the Motz family home — is always at a premium. They can produce just 325 gallons a season, since it takes a barrel of sap to boil down to just one gallon. The syrup is currently priced at $9 a pint.
Clough Valley Maple Syrup. A success story known around the state as a blue-ribbon winner but ignored by many in its own home town. That's sooo Cincinnati.
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