Maple syrup review

>> Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back when we dined in blissful ignorance on HFCS-containing foods, our favorite syrup was Log Cabin. The first ingredient in Log Cabin's list - and on pretty much every non-pure maple syrup out there - is HFCS. So, we switched to pure maple syrup. You might think that maple syrup is maple syrup, but not so. There are different grades and different classifications within the different grades, and they all have different flavors.

Unfortunately, the only kind of maple syrup that the grocery stores out here sell is Grade A Dark Amber, and the maple flavor in that grade is just a little too strong for mine and Ben's tastes (though my husband loves the stronger flavor). So, after doing a little digging we learned that Grade B actually has a stronger flavor than Grade A, and that Grade A Medium Amber and Grade A Light Amber are most commonly used as table syrups. Amazon came to our rescue, as usual. We were able to order some Grade A Medium Amber maple syrup. And, I'm happy to say that it has a much less pronounced maple flavor that is just right.

I've found some benefits to using maple syrup. First, it isn't nearly as viscous as Log Cabin and the other HFCS based syrups, and with the thinner consistency a little maple syrup goes a long way - and that's a good thing because it's expensive! Second, did you know that maple syrup actually has some health benefits? It contains a ton of manganese and zinc - two trace elements and natural antioxidants that are good for your health. It's also loaded with calcium - the same amount as whole milk! (That just blows my mind - in a good way.) Last, it has fewer calories than corn syrup. With all of that going for it, I can overlook the steep price, I suppose, and not feel so bad when we have a syrup laden breakfast.


Rachel July 23, 2008 at 8:04 AM  

Wow, syrup is healthy? Ok, it is on my Costco list now. They have a few pure maple syrups there. Thank you for setting me straight on the classifications. I can buy with confidence now.

(And I am liking the idea that it is not so thick and sticky.)

fatfighter July 23, 2008 at 1:35 PM  

Loaded with calcium, huh - that's interesting! And I like that the consistency is thinner and goes a long way.

Hil July 23, 2008 at 11:13 PM  

My boyfriend and I purchased real maple syrup the other day. We haven't tried it yet. I don't think I have ever had real maple syrup in my life...

Dani August 4, 2008 at 9:31 AM  

Wow, I didn't realize the additional benefits. It may be just what I need to "sell" my dh. We have been buying some light maple syrup, but when recent prices hiked up the price to almost $7 a bottle (about 8 ounces or less) dh insisted on buying cheaper Log Cabin again. We found out the hard way with the different grades too. The darker grades didn't taste sweet and were closer to tasting like molasses to me. Maybe if I convince dh that maple syrup has some health benefits (makes sense with it being a "whole" food) he will be willing to let go of a couple more dollars. (Grocery shopping with him is exhausting. ;) )

Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

According to this article from yesterday's NY times, Log Cabin is taking out the HFCS out of their syrups.. Between that and the new HFCS free mountain dew (throwback), this may not be as terrifying a lifestyle change as I thought.

chazzmor November 19, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

I never use pure maple syrup on pancakes because it's way too expensive, but I always use it in coffee. Being from New Orleans I grew up drinking coffee with chicory. I've never been able to drink it black until recently when I discovered 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup smooths and sweetens it perfectly, but still lets the taste of the coffee come through.

Leanne Franson July 13, 2011 at 9:54 PM  

Interesting about the calcium content of maple syrup. Being in Quebec, it is freely available here, though not inexpensive. However, between my son and I we go through several liters of milk a day, and he drinks 2-3 glasses of milk a day... not quite sure drinking 2-3 cups of maple syrup a day for the calcium would be advisable... a bit sweet (and expensive) for our tastes! lol! Thanks for the interesting info. I'll feel better now as he sloshes it on his pancakes.

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