In Season: Sorghum Syrup

If you've never tasted sorghum on a hot buttered biscuit, you've only half lived.

Sorghum syrup ina mason jar

In the mountain South it's known as long sweetnin' for its lingering rich-as-honey finish. Steeped in backcountry tradition, sorghum syrup making is an art--a magical, end-of-summer alchemy bottled in a mason jar.

To Buy

Look for 100% pure sorghum syrup at farm stands or specialty markets, or order online. Unlike molasses, sorghum has a buttery complexity.

To Store

Tuck it into a dark kitchen cupboard, ready to drizzle over baked apples, hot cornbread, or a down-home version of caramel macchiato.

To Cook

Substitute it in equal amounts for corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, or molasses in recipes.

To Party

Syrup-making festivals with hand-harvested sorghum cane and mule-drawn presses are held across the South from late August to mid-October.

Sorghum syrup-making festivals with hand-harvested sorghum cane and mule-drawn presses are held across the South from late August to mid-October. One of the largest festivals, in the beautiful mountain town of Blairsville, Georgia spans two weekends--October 9-10 and 16-17.

  • Mountaineer Folk Festival
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park
  • Pikeville TN 37367
  • September 10-12, 2010
  • 423/881-5708
  • visitfallcreekfalls.com

Cades Cove

Smoky Mountains National Park

September 4-6 and 17-19, November 5-7 and 12-14, 2010

865/436-1200

865/436-7318

  • Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day
  • Townsend, TN
  • September 24, 25, 2010
  • 800/525-6834
  • smokymountains.org
  • Dollywood National Southern Gospel Music & Harvest Celebration
  • Pigeon Forge, TN
  • September 29-October 30, 2010 (closed Thursdays)
  • 800/365-5996
  • dollywood.com
  • Music and Molasses Arts & Crafts Festival
  • Ellington Agriculture Center
  • Nashville, TN
  • October 16-17, 2010
  • 615/837-5197
  • tnagmuseum.org

Shockley's Old Timey Days

Hillsville, VA

September 25-26, 2010 (rain dates October 2-3)

276-733-4953

  • Murray's Mill Harvest Folk Festival
  • Catawba, NC
  • September 25-26, 2010
  • 828/464-0383
  • catawbahistory.org

Clifford Ruritan Club Sorghum Festival

Clifford, VA

October 2-3, 2010

434/946-2208

  • Harvest Festival
  • Renfro Valley, KY
  • October 1-3, 2010
  • 800/765-7464
  • renfrovalley.com

Kentucky Wool Festival

Falmouth, KY

October 1-3, 2010

606/735-3402

Sorghum Festival

Michigan City, MS

Madison County Fair

Marshall, NC

August 26-28, 2010 (Sorghum-making demos August 28)

828/649-2411

Voyles' Sorghum Making

Ava, MO

October 9, 2010

417/683-3107

  • Homestead Festival
  • Harrisburg, AR
  • The Whitehall Community
  • October 9-10, 2010
  • parkerhomestead.com
  • Prairie Rose Farm Fall Celebration
  • Pryor, OK
  • October 16, 2010
  • 918/695-7481
  • prairieroseok.com

Sourcery

Look for 100% pure sorghum syrup at farm stands and specialty markets (such as Whole Foods), or order online from one of these suppliers. Molasses, a byproduct of sugar making, lacks sorghum's buttery complexity.

  • Sandhill Farm, Inc.
  • Rutledge, MO
  • 660/883-5543
  • info@sandhillfarm.org

Sorghum Snapshots

View a film clip classic of sorghum syrup making in Flatwoods, Texas--hosted by Mike Seibert, the former District Attorney of Eastland.youtube.com/watch?v=MVkQ-SOL5IQ

Visit Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill in Monterey, Tennessee. youtube.com/watch?v=JESJpXjSBHY

Or, take a pictorial trip to Onion Creek Farm in Dripping Springs, Texas, and watch the harvest of "Honey Drip" heirloom sweet sorghum http://drippingsprings.dsbabble.com/2009/07/21/sorghum-pressing-and-processing--onion-creek-farm-day-two-a-pictorial.aspx.

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