Birch syrup Bars

Shortbread bars topped with a mixture of birch syrup, sliced almonds and brown sugar.

Birch syrup is primarily produced in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Different from traditional maple syrup it is not as sweet and has a more of a caramel flavour. Birch syrup is made from the birch sap. Traditionally birch sap was used as a beverage consumed either fresh or naturally fermented. 

Birch trees also have many other traditional uses: fresh spring birch twigs make a nice wintergreen flavoured tea when steeped in hot water. Birch hardwood is valued for its strength and resistance to cracking. It is favoured material for making snowshoes, paddles, drum frames, toboggans and furniture. Young birch trees can be chopped down, stems, twigs and all into a large soup pot and boiled. Strained and jarred used for medicine that helps stomach ailments, heartburn and ulcers. Birch bark was made into baskets, plates, and bowls. Canoes were made from birch bark. All the leftover birch bark trim is a great fire starter.

Teetl'it Gwich’in Language Lesson

Aat’oo tshuu’ dhandaii | Birch Syrup

Meet The Chef

Steph Baryluk 

Chef Steph Baryluk (BAR-luck) created the Rooted Catering and Dining Commons menus at SFU. She is Teetl'it Gwich'in from Teetl'it Zheh (Fort McPherson), Treaty 11 Territory located in the Northwest Territories and now resides in Tsawwassen, BC with her husband and two kids. After completing her Red Seal as a Cook she knew she wanted to do more with her Indigenous roots. Chef Steph has hosted cooking classes and speaking engagements in her hometown, at the FAO in Rome, and across the Lower Mainland. She also launched her own company, MRS B’S JERKY, which is a play on traditional caribou dried meat ‘Nilii Gaii’ but made with beef. She's excited to share her Indigenous cuisine and stories with the SFU community.