A number of Ann Arborites tap maple trees each spring. Bella Sherman, however, may be the only one to harvest “birch juice”—a delicacy in Russia, Ukraine, and a few other northern countries. Sherman, a native of Ukraine, arrived in Ann Arbor in 2001 to join the man who became her husband. She walked all over the west side before finding a few birches big enough to tap—and now, with the owners’ permission, she collects their sap each spring. “I have never gotten used to American soft drinks or snacks,” she explains. “They are just too sweet or too salty.” She compares the juice’s subtle flavor to “nature’s Gatorade.” Sherman collects the sap twice a day when it’s ­running—between the first thaw and the appearance of buds—and she has to drink it quickly, because it keeps only a few days in the refrigerator. The sap run has already ended, and Sherman’s not sharing her sources—but if you’ll settle for a pasteurized version, it can sometimes be found at the Euro Market at Packard and Platt.