This morning I had occasion to have breakfast in a local diner (Thereâ€™s plenty of them in Jersey). The French toast (lousy name, I know) was accompanied by individual servings of Smuckerâ€™s â€œBreakfast Syrup.â€ With a name like Smucker’s, it may be good, but it sure as hell ainâ€™t maple syrup. .Here are the ingredients listed on the â€œBreakfast Syrupâ€ label:
Ingredients: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, natural and artificial flavors, salt, caramel color
Notice anything missing in those ingredients? You betcha! There is no farookinâ€™ MAPLE to be found anywhere on the label. Although it might have been one of the â€œnatural flavorsâ€ indicated on the label, I doubt it, because I assume if there were real maple syrup in that stuff, it damned well would appear in the ingredients.
I do not mean to disparage the Smuckerâ€™s product, as it was fine, but the difference between it and real maple syrup is as obvious as the difference between a fine wine and â€œT-Bird.â€
Compare the ingredients listed above with the ingredients of genuine maple syrup:
That’s it. Maple syrup consists of the sap obtained from sugar maple trees in the springtime that is boiled until just about all the water is gone, leaving only genuine maple syrup. It takes approximately ten gallons of sap to make one quart of maple syrup.
Maple syrup doesnâ€™t just taste better than â€œBreakfast Syrup,â€ but itâ€™s actually good for you. Consider the following:
Unlike some things that purport to be â€œorganicâ€ and â€œnatural,â€ maple syrup is both.
Maple syrup contains as much calcium as whole milk.
Maple syrup contains approximately 40 calories per tablespoon, compared to corn syrup, which contains approximately 60 calories.
Maple Syrup is rich in minerals e.g. calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron) and vitamins (e.g. B2, B5, B6, niacin, biotin, and folic acid).
While one often associates maple syrup being made in Vermont, it is also made in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, and Canada. (If I left out certain states, I suspect that someone will correct me.)
As a result of eating todayâ€™s â€œBreakfast Syrup,â€ and writing this entry, I am particularly glad that I have an unopened bottle of Grade “A” Dark Amber New York Maple Syrup in the kitchen, which will be opened and savored tomorrow.
So, if you find yourself in a New Jersey diner ordering pancakes or French toast, and you want genuine maple syrup, I suggest that you bring your own.