Let’s go to the Sop

sugar cane press juice syrup

When you’re raised on Log Cabin syrup, your first taste of cane or sorghum syrup can, um, give you pause. Taste buds that are trained on innocuous, watered-down maple flavoring don’t know what to do when they’re assaulted by thick Southern-style syrup with an unmistakable tang.

It took me a minute to come around, but for 20 years I’ve loved the stuff.

And that’s why I was excited to learn that today is the annual Syrup Sop at Loachapoka, Ala. — a tiny town without even a single traffic light outside of Auburn. It’s a crafts festival of the sort you find all over on any pleasant weekend. But the heart of this one is the locally produced syrup, for sale by the pint or the quart, and the fresh biscuits made on site by Hardee’s to plunge into the viscous nectar.

Fresh biscuits homemade syrup Loachapoaka sop

At two stations, horse-driven mills ground the juice from fresh-cut cane. Then folks thickened it and flavored it with apples, turning it into syrup produced on site. They make the bulk of the syrup that’s for sale ahead of time. Jenn and I bought a year’s supply of the sticky stuff.

Now I’ve just got to master making biscuits from scratch.

The event started at dawn and runs until 3 p.m. CDT, if anyone in the neighborhood is still inkling to get there.

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