No, dear friends, not agape, that group of Greek words meaning Christian or brotherly love. Agave, as in nectar . . . of the Gods. There is nothing brotherly about my passion for the liquid sunshine contained in this bottle.
I have to thank Erin McKenna of Babycakes Bakery for introducing me to my love. She shared a recipe for a wonderful allergy free bread she prepared on Martha Stewart’s show. (You can find this episode on Babycakes’ website under “Press.”) In this bread was agave, which at first, made me think of tequila, thus fostering bad memories of a certain party we won’t discuss.
Agave is related to gardening, or, at least, the plant world. Most people are familiar with agaves as ornamental plants, sometimes called century plants because they live to be very old, although not 100 years old. They are from the family Agavacae and are related to yuccas. Per The Agave Page, by distilling the nectar found in the developing agave flower bud, Mescal is made, but it can only be called Tequila if made from the Blue Agave and within the Tequila region of Mexico. Who knew?
According to Wickipedia, Agave syrup or nectar is produced by expressing juice from the plant’s core, called the piÃ±a. The juice is filtered and heated and becomes a syrup that is thinner than honey, but sweeter.
I’m told that agave nectar is low on the glycemic index, but I couldn’t care less. It tastes good and takes on the flavors of whatever I’m cooking. I use it on gluten free pancakes, waffles, and other stuff when I don’t want the flavor of honey or maple syrup to come through.
But, ssh . . . don’t tell the bees or the maple trees, because I don’t want them to be jealous. I still like them too.