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IHOP Serves Real Maple Syrup -- Only in Vermont
April 23, 2009 9:54 PM   Subscribe

In the past many folk rightfully pointed out that IHOP (International House of Pancakes) didn't have a restaurant in Vermont. Times have been a changin.' Last month, Vermont became the 50th and final state to welcome an IHOP. And, being in Vermont, "old fashioned corn syrup," masquerading as true maple syrup didn't make the grade. "The IHOP here is the only one of about 1,400 in the United States, Canada and Mexico to serve real maple syrup." The managers got permission from the company "with a special dispensation" to serve the real stuff.
"The 'real stuff' comes in a container on the side and costs diners an extra 99 cents. The restaurant buys it from Sugarman of Vermont, a confectionery in Hardwick, and sells about 180 containers a week. It is not yet listed on the menu, but news has spread by word of mouth."
posted by ericb (110 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The price of maple syrup recently skyrocketed, at least at places I usually get it here in Washington State. Even at Costco, which should have decent economy of scale, went from ~$10 for 64 oz to ~$20 for 32 oz.

That's, um... a four-fold increase in price?

It has certainly put a damper on our weekend breakfasts...
posted by hippybear at 10:00 PM on April 23, 2009


Heaven help the poor IHOP manager who, in an attempt to boost profits, tries to pass off corn syrup as the real deal. Vermonters would be wise to such syruptitious behavior.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:07 PM on April 23, 2009 [17 favorites]


Jesus! They've got IHOP in Mexico?!?!?! Do they just serve you diarrhea?
posted by lattiboy at 10:08 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


REAL maple syrup at IHOP? BLASPHEMY!
posted by sexyrobot at 10:20 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


In 2008, Julia Stewart, the chief executive officer of DineEquity Inc., the company that owns both IHOP and Applebee's, told the New York Times that her restaurants didn't offer maple syrup because "most people find it way over the top."

most people must think i am extreme about my pancakes. i need the real stuff to get me going. like hippybear, i do not care for the price increaes, but i am willing to pay for what others might call an addiction.
posted by the aloha at 10:25 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The 'real stuff' comes in a container on the side and costs diners an extra 99 cents.

Why don't they do that at all their restaurants? Is it only Vermonters who are not too cheap to pay for real maple syrup?

By the way: I like pancakes. Do you like pancakes?
posted by pracowity at 10:26 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Being a European, when I came to the US I didn't know why Americans ate Pancakes with Maple Syrup for breakfast. That was until I tried Maple Syrup and realised that it wasn't really about the pancakes.
posted by ob at 10:31 PM on April 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


In 2008, Julia Stewart, the chief executive officer of DineEquity Inc., the company that owns both IHOP and Applebee's, told the New York Times that her restaurants didn't offer maple syrup because "most people find it way over the top."

Maybe they should call the Vermont outlets IHOP Extreme!!!!

These ain't your Daddy's pancakes.
if your Daddy eats exclusively at IHOP.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 10:32 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ever since they took buckwheat pancakes off the menu, IHOP has been dead to me.

That's, um... a four-fold increase in price?

Maple syrup is exploding in International popularity, and the last two seasons were short.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:32 PM on April 23, 2009


Why don't they do that at all their restaurants? Is it only Vermonters who are not too cheap to pay for real maple syrup?
"Nowhere on the tables can one find maple syrup.

In 2008, Julia Stewart, the chief executive officer of DineEquity Inc., the company that owns both IHOP and Applebee's, told the New York Times that her restaurants didn't offer maple syrup because 'most people find it way over the top.'

...The [Vermont IHOP franchisee]'s request for permission to use maple syrup is a rare one, said Dan Ischy, IHOP spokesman.

Because the IHOP-flavored syrups are much cheaper for franchisees, restaurant owners tend to stick with those, Ischy said. Ischy has never tasted maple syrup, he said, but he's looking forward to trying it when he comes to Vermont in a month for the restaurant's grand opening."*
posted by ericb at 10:37 PM on April 23, 2009


Do you like pancakes?

over bunny with a side of bacon
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:37 PM on April 23, 2009


> That was until I tried Maple Syrup and realised that it wasn't really about the pancakes.

When my wife's not around I cut out the middleman and sip it straight from the jar.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:42 PM on April 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


You know, when typing my comment above, I instinctively went first with this: iHop.

I think there's too much Apple in my life.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:42 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


not the best of the web... sorry. This aint.
well, that's not a very sentimental thing to say in what promises to be a syrupy discussion.
posted by the aloha at 10:44 PM on April 23, 2009


I'm just glad my blood doesn't taste sugary and delicious.

really, it doesn't. please do not try to tap my blood and put it on your breakfast foods.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:48 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Really, I do think it is because most Americans have never had REAL maple syrup. They grew up with the artificial flavored crap, made from corn, and just don't know any better. I also believe this is why no one seems to appreciate dark honey or brown sugar cubes in this dietary hell hole I live in.

Dear Europe - Please Send Brown Sugar Cubes. PLEASE.
posted by strixus at 10:52 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


In other news, birch syrup season has started.
posted by ryanrs at 10:53 PM on April 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jesus! They've got IHOP in Mexico?!?!?! Do they just serve you diarrhea?

I don't get it. Is this an insult for IHOP's food or for Mexican food?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:02 PM on April 23, 2009


Really, I do think it is because most Americans have never had REAL maple syrup.

*gah* My mother would make some kind of "something" involving brown sugar, white sugar and maple flavoring which she would pass off as maple syrup. (She is a child of the Depression, so I don't fault her.) All the while, one of her favorite treats as a gift was a box of maple sugar candy.

It wasn't until I had moved out of her house and started purchasing for myself that I learned the true difference between real syrup and what I'd had foisted on me all my years up to that point.

I weep for those who remain uneducated in this matter. It's like the difference between mono and stereo, or between stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Only for your taste buds.
posted by hippybear at 11:05 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I don't get it. Is this an insult for IHOP's food or for Mexican food?

Yeah, that was kind of sketchy. Real Mexican food is pretty darn good with lots of fresh vegetables. Taco Bell-esque and Tex-Mex derivative is simply hegemony.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:06 PM on April 23, 2009


It's like the difference between mono and stereo...

I don't think that's fair to mono, actually. Some music sounds really good in mono. But fake maple syrup, that just ain't good. Period.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:07 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


You can totally get Mexican omelettes at IHOP offmenu! FWIW. Best of both diarrheal worlds! I need to stay thin, pretty and young you know.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 11:09 PM on April 23, 2009


But fake maple syrup, that just ain't good. Period.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:07 PM


Almost timestamp eponysterical.
posted by hippybear at 11:10 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't forget to try french toast, cornmeal pancakes, sourdough pancakes, and country sausage links as maple syrup delivery vehicles.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:12 PM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Almost timestamp eponysterical.

PDTZONE!
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:14 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


BrotherCaine: You know it!
posted by hippybear at 11:20 PM on April 23, 2009


I don't get it. Is this an insult for IHOP's food or for Mexican food?

It's nothing to do with Mexican food (which I love to no end), it's the very idea of a place like IHOP (which is usually a bit sketchy w/r/t hygiene in the US) somewhere in or around Tijuana.
posted by lattiboy at 11:51 PM on April 23, 2009


That is pretty damn scary, actually.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:53 PM on April 23, 2009


I adore pancakes. I have not noticed an increase in syrup price, in Switzerland. I don't eat fake syrup, and won't go without my pancakes, except when I make Belgian waffles, then I can live without syrup (although maple syrup does them justice, just not as much justice as strawberries and whipped cream). Oh, just a caveat: With Belgian ("Brussels", actually) waffles, the iron is extremely important. I just got a real Brussels iron this year, and am blown away. (and an old recipe from my Belgian mother-in-law. YUM! You are most unlikely to find anything this good in a restaurant, anywhere.)

A colleague of my partner is from Canada, and wanted to bring us some new syrup. Alas, the vendors were too stupid to offer it in some easy-to-fly container. Anyone knowing a good source for ordering maple syrup for international shipment, please let me know.

Years ago, I discovered that using real maple instead of the fake stuff left me feeling better after pancakes. I don't get the sugar overdose feeling from real syrup. I have been known to take my own syrup to restaurants, when going out to breakfast. One of the things I dislike the most about living in Europe is the absence of American-style breakfast in restaurants. I love having a bit of everything (or a lot of everything) with someone else doing the work!
posted by Goofyy at 12:06 AM on April 24, 2009


A business calling itself a "House of Pancakes" that has to be armtwisted to offer REAL maple syrup? Which its chief exec considers "way over the top"? (The top of what? No heights there, lady.) And its pancake spokesman HAS NEVER EVEN TASTED MAPLE SYRUP? Let me run outside a minute and check what planet I'm on...

This basement attitude toward excellence and quality is even now undoing the USA...
posted by ronin21 at 12:21 AM on April 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


Goofyy - check your memail
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:42 AM on April 24, 2009



By the way: I like pancakes. Do you like pancakes?


I FUCKING LOVE PANCAKES. I make hella pancakes. Aaaaand I just got some family-home-made syrup from upstate NY. And you are JEALOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.








Jealous. So jealous.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:39 AM on April 24, 2009


What I like most about IHOP is the word "International" which long predates its minor foreign ventures. If it was just called the House of Pancakes, that would be a fine, straightforward description, but the "International" adds that special Eisenhower-era something.

Side issue. As a Brit, I normally eat what Yanks call crepes on our Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday), but I do appreciate that the combination of salty bacon, sweet syrup and pancake is one of America's outstanding contributions to global cuisine.
posted by rhymer at 2:42 AM on April 24, 2009


Bacon/sausage + maple syrup = urrrrrrrrrrrr. *shivers and drools*

After eating pancakes with some corn-syrup-derivative, the next great sin is heating the maple syrup. My wife thinks she likes this and it's a tense tense moment every time it comes up.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:15 AM on April 24, 2009


Do you like pancakes?

Do you like waffles?

But seriously, it just seems tragic that the guy in charge of pancakes at IHOP has never even had maple syrup. I imagine he's going to have some sort of epiphany that sweeps through the company, and the loosely-kept secret of how good maple syrup is will be spread. One day, "worth its weight in maple syrup" will be the new phrase, and people will wonder why they ever wanted a "gold standard" in the first place.
posted by explosion at 3:29 AM on April 24, 2009


...the next great sin is heating the maple syrup.

Uu-uh. I'm assuming that you're starting with cold syrup outta the fridge, right? Well, putting only as much maple syrup as you expect to be using into a pyrex cup, then putting that into a pan of water and and gently heating it up a bit like that on the stove is the way to go. That way, your nice hot pancakes don't cool off when you pour cold syrup over 'em. I also recommend heating the plates (in the winter, anyway) with the water from the pan. That helps keep your cakes nice and warm, too.

Hey, take it from me, man. I'm flapjax at midnite.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:32 AM on April 24, 2009 [22 favorites]


Oh please god please let this not be the start of a tiresome maple syrup meme oh please oh please oh please
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:03 AM on April 24, 2009


Oh gee--thanks a lot for posting this. It's hard enough to get a table there now without waiting an hour. Now we'll have flatlanders clogging the place!
posted by paddbear at 4:05 AM on April 24, 2009


the next great sin is heating the maple syrup.

I take it you've never experienced maple-sugar snow.

But then, I guess if I lived in Brooklyn, I wouldn't put the snow in my mouth, either.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:07 AM on April 24, 2009


I take it you've never experienced maple-sugar snow.

Maple-sugar snow? I don't think so. When I was a kid we'd go to parties at the sugar-shack of one of our neighbors (this was in Quebec) and they'd put a big board outside, cover it with snow, and then pour hot maple syrup onto the snow. You'd get a stick and stick it to the maple syrup which was like a sticky sugary maple syrup taffy popsicle type thing. It was pretty A OK.

And about the heating thing try it yourself: when cold, maple syrup has a 'tighter'/more concentrated flavor. Heat it up too much and it is just not as complex. I will accept that there is a middle between warming it up from too cold to room temp., but beyond that, heating it up so that it's noticeably warm? I just can't agree.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:18 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, actually, pretty much room temp is what I'm talking, FB.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:28 AM on April 24, 2009


I don't know what's more pathetic - that the spokesman has never tasted real maple syrup, or that he will look directly into a reporter's eyes and tell her that he still prefers the fake stuff after finally trying the real deal. If there's still a person in there, he'll shed a single tear while he says it.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:33 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The real question is why anyone who is within driving distance of Penny Cluse would choose IHOP to begin with . . .
posted by booksherpa at 4:41 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


IHOP first opened in the late 50s. Are you telling me that even that far back they didn't use real maple syrup? Wasn't there some point in their history when they used the good stuff?
I remember in the late 70s/early 80s they already had the (delicious to my kid mind) array of blueberry, strawberry and whatever else syrups.
posted by orme at 5:25 AM on April 24, 2009


Penny Cluse? Where they take perfectly good ethnic recipes and Trustifarian them up with freerange organic tofu? They're expensive and overrated.
posted by paddbear at 5:44 AM on April 24, 2009


There are those in parts of this country which use straight-up Karo syrup on their pancakes.

There are those who grew up in a region where you couldn't get real Vermont maple syrup on a regular or inexpensive basis, and grew up with the taste of the Old-Fashioned Mrs. Jemima Cabin stuff (though honestly I find myself automatically leery of any product which is dispensed from the top of a matronly lady's head.)

And there are those who grew up in a small town with several sugarhouses, for whom March was a wonderful month because it meant running around maple groves helping collect sap from the buckets and then watching it all boil down in humongous vats and waiting to get a taste of the stuff at the earliest moment possible without scalding your taste buds, always poured from the tap into little pleated paper cups.

I dated a girl from California who was brought up on the fake stuff. She couldn't stand the taste of real maple syrup. It was that alien a taste to her. I could accept this, because honestly, in situations where there is no real syrup to be had, I'll use the fake stuff (I still draw the line at Mrs. Butterworth's innards, though.)

And to be honest, that fake taste is part of the experience at a Denny's or an IHOP or any other greasy spoon for me. The taste of real maple syrup is part of the experience at a rural sugarhouse or at home. I like both, but do prefer the real stuff when I have a choice.
posted by Spatch at 6:08 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is a great excuse to link to this sublimely trippy IHOP commercial from 1969.
posted by bookish at 6:17 AM on April 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


I hate pancakes. Too heavy. Too thick.

I love crepes, though! OMG I love crepes.
posted by lyam at 6:35 AM on April 24, 2009


I grew up on the fake stuff (and often light fake stuff at that) but am now a complete maple snob. I have very seriously considered sneaking a flask of the good stuff when we go out to breakfast, a la Seinfeld.

I would absolutely pay an extra buck for real maple syrup.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:50 AM on April 24, 2009


please let this not be the start of a tiresome maple syrup meme

You know what else goes really well with maple syrup?
posted by bonehead at 6:54 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


My 1st grade science project was making maple syrup from trees where I grew up. I did almost everything from the tapping to the boiling down (with adult supervision of course.)

If a restaurant doesn't have real maple syrup I won't get anything requiring syrup. I know it sounds snobbish, but I can't eat that corn syrup shit.
posted by schyler523 at 6:55 AM on April 24, 2009


This entire thread is prima facie evidence of why I love living in New England. Every March I am able to go directly to a sugaring house somewhere in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, or even Massachusetts, and buy a big ol' jug of Grade B maple syrup made right there on the premises (Grade B is the darker version that usually isn't sold in stores but which has a deeper flavor than Grade A). We probably make pancakes or waffles for Sunday breakfast once a month, and never use anything but locally-made maple syrup.

We do go to a nearby IHOP once in a while, but I usually have an omelet so that I don't have to have pancakes with high-fructose corn syrup.

Similarly, I don't understand New Englanders who eat at Red Lobster.

I'm sure the Vermont IHOP will mostly draw all the goddamned New Yorkers who drive up on the weekends and are glad to see that "civilization" has finally reached the Green Mountain State.
posted by briank at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2009


Also, due to decades/centuries of fire suppression the forests of much of the Eastern US are becoming more mesic and maples are slowly becoming one of the dominant species. This is good for syrup lovers in theory.
posted by schyler523 at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2009


Do you like pancakes?

Do you like waffles?


Do you like gladiator movies?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:03 AM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


IHOP is in Canada too. It should be called the NAFTA House of Pancakes.
posted by lukemeister at 7:05 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hint: Grade B maple syrup has more maple flavor so you need less of it to get the same impact ie. it's cheaper and better. Sort of like the Greenland/Iceland naming thing, I believe Grade A/B is a trick pulled by the maple industry. "Let's call our watery stuff 'Grade A' and charge more for it!"
posted by stbalbach at 7:10 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always thought the "international" part of IHOP came from the "international" variety of pancakes they had. See, anyone in the US can serve you pancakes, but what about German pancakes? Or French pancakes? So what if they just added some vaguely "German" or "French" toppings, it's still more international than plain old syrup.

(And for the record: pancakes are best with real maple syrup and apple sauce. Maybe it was a ploy by my mother to make breakfast more healthy, but applesauce really does go well on pancakes with syrup. Keep your butter-like products away from my flapjacks!)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:23 AM on April 24, 2009


I see that the cool du jour in this thread is maple syrup. Maple syrup is wonderful, but I actually prefer IHOP's butter pecan syrup when I'm eating at IHOP. We're not talking about having brunch with the queen here, we're talking about a full stack at IHOP. You don't take a bottle of dijon mustard to a baseball game for your hot dog, do you?

Also, if IHOP started offering maple syrup nationwide, I could easily see the price of maple syrup skyrocketing.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:33 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's nothing to do with Mexican food (which I love to no end), it's the very idea of a place like IHOP (which is usually a bit sketchy w/r/t hygiene in the US) somewhere in or around Tijuana.

Yeah, ehm, there's a lot of Mexico going on beyond Tijuana, FYI.

Same reason I tend to avoid IHOPs in the US, example: IHOP in Mcallen (bordertown). On the other hand, the IHOP in my hometown is pretty darn good for a chain restaurant: IHOP in Monterrey.

Also, I just discovered they've started selling real maple syrup in the supermarket I go to. I guess it's time to try it because I brought some back from Canada a few years ago and I never even opened it.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:41 AM on April 24, 2009


I've always thought the "international" part of IHOP came from the "international" variety of pancakes they had.

I've always thought the international part was a joke :p.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:45 AM on April 24, 2009


Now that I think of it, it's more like the Naff House of Pancakes.
posted by lukemeister at 7:51 AM on April 24, 2009


Aaaaand I just got some family-home-made syrup from upstate NY. And you are JEALOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

I have family-home-made maple butter. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And the great thing about going to a family sugar shack: drinking réduit, the intermediate stage between sweet water and syrup. Hmmm-hmm.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:56 AM on April 24, 2009


ihop is the BEST at 2 am after the bars close and no place else is open and you're 21 years old and you need something to sop up all that alcohol in the body. maple syrup is completely extraneous in that scenario, no matter what state/country/planet you happen to inhabit.
posted by msconduct at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]




Don't forget to try french toast, cornmeal pancakes, sourdough pancakes, and country sausage links as maple syrup delivery vehicles.

Oh man, the lack of sourdough pancakes in DC is the single worst aspect of the city. It's shameful. I mean, you can get okay sourdough bread (good enough to satisfy me, even if it's not the best ever), but I have yet to find a place that serves sourdough pancakes. Regular pancakes are a heavy, bready mess. Sourdough pancakes are complex, tangy perfection.

Sigh. Now you've made me hungry and sad. I WANT SOURDOUGH PANCAKES AND MAPLE SYRUP, PLEASE.
posted by iminurmefi at 8:07 AM on April 24, 2009


(Grade B is the darker version that usually isn't sold in stores but which has a deeper flavor than Grade A).

I must have this.
posted by cereselle at 8:09 AM on April 24, 2009


I can't really defend either IHOP's food or its service--I've been pretty underwhelmed by both the last couple of times that I've been there--but I'll always appreciate them for being the place that I had my first cup of coffee, as an accompaniment to chocolate chip pancakes, when I was a senior in high school back in '81. It went a lot better than losing my cherry, tell you what.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:11 AM on April 24, 2009


You don't take a bottle of dijon mustard to a baseball game for your hot dog, do you?

Yes, I would totally do this. Sweet-hot mustard, actually. I may have a condiment problem.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:14 AM on April 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


There are people who have never tasted actual maple syrup? And one of them has a job with IHOP? How can this be?

I won't eat artificial "maple" syrup. It's just not worth it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:21 AM on April 24, 2009


Somewhat on topic. I like the real maple sugar candy, also.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 8:26 AM on April 24, 2009


So what. The way America does food, I'm sure by now IHOP has managed to create a cheaper, fake pancake batter.
posted by Zambrano at 8:37 AM on April 24, 2009


> I'm sure by now IHOP has managed to create a cheaper, fake pancake batter.

Shh. Don't tell everyone about the Biltongs.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:55 AM on April 24, 2009


When I lived in Boston, my hockey-playing, maple-syrup-loving Vermonter roommate would bring gallons of real, homemade, grade B tastytasty back from home once a year. Gallons. It was glorious. I go to IHOP with my boyfriend and watch him perform what I call "the carnival of corn syrup" (each section of pancake gets a different syrup) and just shudder.

If you want pure maplejoy, do pancakes with real syrup and then those maple flavored breakfast sausages. MAPLEOVERLOAD!

Amusingly, I hate other "maple flavored" things, but real syrup and those stupid sausages = joy!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dan Ischy, IHOP spokesman....Ischy has never tasted maple syrup, he said, but he's looking forward to trying it when he comes to Vermont in a month for the restaurant's grand opening."*

Jeezum! You sell pancakes for a living and you have never even tried maple syrup? That is just so sad.

One of the finer uses for maple syrup is corn bread. Pour a generous layer into the bottom of the pan prior to adding the batter, and of course don't forget to add copious amounts of diced fresh Jalapenos into the batter.
posted by caddis at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


The reason for "Grade A" maple syrup having no flavor dates back to before the days of cheap cane sugar and even cheaper HF corn syrup. Back then, maple sugar was competing with beet sugar and others for a spot in every day cooking. The highest grade of sugar was then the one that had the least maple flavor to tarnish your snow white pastries.

Here in Canada, I think the maple syrup grades are AAA, A, B, and Amber. The later in the season, the darker and more mapl-y the sap. This year's Amber is definitely ready by now, best of luck in finding some!
posted by anthill at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've only ever given my kids true maple syrup. They may have had the artificial stuff at daycare. I don't want to know.

Being kids of course, they also want honey.

The feta cheese? Not so much.

Oh please god please let this not be the start of a tiresome maple syrup meme oh please oh please oh please

Christe, what a crepe.

posted by lysdexic at 9:15 AM on April 24, 2009


By the way: I like pancakes. Do you like pancakes?

Not much for syrup, prefer'em with jam, but yeah, I'd hit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:56 AM on April 24, 2009


Ischy has never tasted maple syrup

WHAT THE FUCK DUDE
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:00 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


South Burlington doesn't count.
posted by merelyglib at 10:08 AM on April 24, 2009


For those curious about classification: the classification page of the FPAQ.

Vermont may be the larger producer in the US, but Quebec is responsible for 71% of the world's production /got huge blisters one year cleaning the pipes in a grove.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:17 AM on April 24, 2009


Thank you MSM, that's the ticket. No. 3 all the way: "must contain traces of caramel, plant bud or sap flavours". Mmmm.
posted by anthill at 11:06 AM on April 24, 2009


Do you know what's better than maple syrup?















More maple syrup.
posted by ob at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


One time I slept over at the home of a childhood friend and in the morning, the family passed around what they all called "maple syrup" to go on the pancakes. It took a few exchanges for a bewildered me to work out that they knew perfectly well it wasn't real maple syrup but they just preferred calling it that. Like calling it what it was, "corn syrup," just wouldn't go with the Pancake Breakfast Experience. Or maybe, this being Canada, they were giving a nod to our heritage? Who knows.

When I went home I asked Mom to buy corn syrup, thinking that maybe I'd like it if I gave it more of a chance. But nah. It was just sweetness without much flavour. I offered my friend real maple syrup and upon tasting it she made a disgusted face. People's tastebuds do get wedded to categorizing certain things as the "right" flavour.

Hat tip to Goofyy for his fabulous pancake recipe, through which I've discovered all sorts of fun variations on "pancake."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:49 AM on April 24, 2009


What I don't understand is why people like IHOP. Have they never had good pancakes before? Do they just eat the stuff because they don't know any better? Pancakes are ridiculously easy to make, and taste 1784 times better homemade. The ones at IHOP are so bland, no wonder people smother them in syrup.

And btw, any syrup that isn't Maple Syrup is called "post syrup" in Quebec. As in you put the spigot in a post and served what came out.
posted by Vindaloo at 12:03 PM on April 24, 2009


And now they're talking about birch syrup; I hear they make that in Abitibi (where they don't have maple), but I've never tasted it.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2009


I used to work at IHOP. Little known fact: IHOP stands for "I hate old people".
posted by knowles at 12:48 PM on April 24, 2009


What I don't understand is why people like IHOP. Have they never had good pancakes before? Do they just eat the stuff because they don't know any better? Pancakes are ridiculously easy to make, and taste 1784 times better homemade.

Most people I know would rather have someone else cook their pancakes at 3am after spending all night at a bar. This is also the main circumstance under which people I know go to IHOP...
posted by wildcrdj at 1:59 PM on April 24, 2009


Birch syrup: yuck. It'd be a taste one has to develop.

Maple syrup: I wish to die in a vat of maple syrup.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2009


Many years ago, our Klingon group used to make a wonderful concoction nicknamed "Saurian Brandy" that was simply to die for (how appropriate for Klingons). It contained, among other ingredients -- dark flavourful amber maple syrup (from our home province of Quebec) and 40% alcohol. Whenever possible, we served it Klingon-style at our diplomatic receptions (AKA parties). That is to say -- simmering hot, just enough to give off amazing maple fumes before you tasted it. It was mighty fine sippin' stuff...

It was extremely popular and we made *many* a convert to our Saurian Brandy, including a number of Star Trek and other SciFi media celebrities who attended our parties over the years. We often ended up having to send them back home with a private stash of Saurian Brandy in a specially designed and labelled bottle. Apparently it would stick in their minds so favorably, that if we met them again years later, they would still remember us fondly if we mentioned our KIDC's "Saurian Brandy".

Damn, now I gotta go find my own personal stash; it's been aging for a couple of years and should be even more mellow by now...
posted by Jade Dragon at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sortilège is similar in concept to Saurian Brandy, but with whisky. Pretty good, but too sweet for me [1 or 2 glasses max].
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:34 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The International in IHOP refers to the Swedish pancakes, blintzes, and crepes. I think they used to have "German pancakes" AKA Dutch babies at one point in time. As far as I know they've never had pupusas, baghrir, dosa, injera, apambalik, or buchujeon.

You don't take a bottle of dijon mustard to a baseball game for your hot dog, do you?

I used to give a friend a load of crap for grating $20 a pound imported parmesian onto his kraft mac and cheese that he'd made with Parkay squeeze margarine. But the reality is that some imitations are so wrong that you're better off skipping them than trying to eat even the worst foods with a paltry substitute.

BTW- Here's a tip for sussing out whether a breakfast place in Northern California is going to be one of the best.

The table has any of of the following on it, or any two of the following are available when requested:

Real maple syrup.

Pepper plant hot sauce

Dickinsons or Hero jam rather than Smuckers, or Knott's, will accept any other jam company that has sugar in place of or over corn syrup on the ingredient list
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:56 PM on April 24, 2009


What I don't understand is why people like IHOP.

The triumph of mediocrity is inevitable and yet still a mystery.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:57 PM on April 24, 2009


> What I don't understand is why people like IHOP.


In many areas it's the only thing open at 3AM; it has a kind of McDonald's-like crap consistency to it so people know what to expect; there's always the promise of a gritty atmosphere with odd looking people who are either road weary or just plain insane; it's about as cheap as a sit-down restaurant with wait staff gets; people often eat garbage at home so they really can't tell the difference; et cetera.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:05 PM on April 24, 2009


maple syrup is completely extraneous in that scenario

You... You bite your tongue! Maple syrup is never extraneous.

One of the first talks my parents had with me about the importance of politeness came about after I'd exclaimed "This isn't real maple syrup!" at more than a few neighbourhood breakfasts and sleepovers at friends'. I still don't understand how anyone can tolerate, let alone prefer, that Aunt Jemima crap.

And one of my favourite memories is eating pancakes cooked on cast iron on an old propane stove out at our cabin, where all we could scrounge up was a quarter tin of fermented maple syrup from northern Ontario.
posted by ODiV at 7:03 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I hate pancakes. Too heavy. Too thick."

BURN THE WITCH! HERETIC! BLASPHEMER!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:32 PM on April 24, 2009


Pancakes are awesome.

Waffles have pockets for the syrup. So they're awesomer.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that some people have never had real maple syrup. I just don't see how that's possible.
posted by fore at 5:48 AM on April 25, 2009


Hmmm, I have flour, eggs, milk AND maple syrup. I know what I'm having for breakfast!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:41 PM on April 25, 2009


Hmmm, I have flour, eggs, milk AND maple syrup

Howsabout a little baking powder? Sure does help 'em rise nicely!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 PM on April 25, 2009


But of course, Mr. Flapjax, there's also salt, sugar and a dash of vanilla.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:15 PM on April 25, 2009


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that some people have never had real maple syrup. I just don't see how that's possible.
posted by fore at 7:48 AM on April 25


Me too. I've lived most of my life in small towns in Tennessee, and the local grocery stores have always had real maple syrup available, albeit at much higher price, so I doubt it was ever very popular. But it was available.

Doesn't maple syrup have an almost indefinite shelf life?

And I definitely want to know how to get my hands on some Grade B.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:17 PM on April 25, 2009


I can personally attest that Libby's Yeast Pancakes are an excellent vehicle by which maple syrup can be consumed. Now I should probably go running to compensate.
posted by caddis at 6:13 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Double… nah, triple the vanilla. Can't have too much.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 AM on April 26, 2009


And I definitely want to know how to get my hands on some Grade B.

Whole Foods used to carry a few varieties. Haven't been in one for a bit though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:54 AM on April 26, 2009


Doesn't maple syrup have an almost indefinite shelf life?

It does tend to crystallize when stored, but heating it redissolves the crystals.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:32 AM on April 26, 2009


Do keep it refrigerated. I've had mold grow on unrefrigerated maple syrup. :-(
posted by five fresh fish at 10:06 AM on April 26, 2009


I cannot stress enough that not only does Grade B taste better, it has more of the natural vitamins and minerals that come from the tree! It's healthier for you all around! It's also great for allergies if you happen to live in the area where the sap is harvested. If you don't, well, not as much, but still helpful. Remember, sap is the blood of the tree! All of the nutrients collected from the tree's roots and leaves flows through the sap! Grade A syrup filters most of that stuff out.

I make homemade Kefir, which is very sour, and to drink it, I alternate between adding dark, local honey and Grade B maple syrup. I never had allergies to begin with, but I know it's good for me in so many other ways! It tastes delicious too.
posted by PigAlien at 11:00 AM on April 26, 2009


I just wonder the efficacy of real maple syrup when used on Nannerpuss.
posted by Blingo at 1:41 PM on April 26, 2009


"a place like IHOP (which is usually a bit sketchy w/r/t hygiene in the US)"

I haven't been to an IHOP since my date and I found an unwrapped condom in the coffee thermos in the late 80s.

Maple syrup in bulk at the coop where I work is very reasonably priced, thank goodness, since we use it on and in so many things. I sugared with some friends for the first time this year and got an education on production. Many Vermonters have their own sugar bush groves and sugaring shacks. It takes so many hours to make so little syrup from so much sap. I applaud them.
posted by terrapin at 5:44 AM on April 28, 2009


Doesn't maple syrup have an almost indefinite shelf life?

Yes, and even if there is mould on the top, you can pick it off, re-boil it and it is good to go!
posted by terrapin at 5:58 AM on April 28, 2009


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