I remember my first taste of pure maple syrup. I was on a brunch date as an undergrad, at the Basil Pot in Columbia, South Carolina. I remember I ran out of syrup, and had to ask for more. Did they really think you could eat a stack of big buckwheat pancakes with such a tiny amount of syrup? My date tried to explain this was “the real thing”, but I couldn’t see how this thin “real” syrup was better.
Later I got my first look at the price of pure maple syrup. Good grief! On a grad student’s budget, it seemed an insane luxury. I’d gotten used to buying groceries without artificial ingredients, but the price difference between pure maple syrup and Mrs. Butterworth’s seemed ridiculous. But I read the labels, and bought it anyway.
These days, we have waffles almost weekly, with pure maple syrup. I have my syrup on the side, dipping each bite in maple flavor – a trick the diet gurus teach for salad dressing. I buy big containers to bring the price per ounce down, and each jug lasts for months in the fridge. I hardly ever order pancakes in a restaurant anymore, unless “real maple syrup” is on the menu, too. (IHOP, are you listening?)
Why all these thoughts about syrup? Today’s news is talking about Log Cabin Syrup adopting the same jug as my familiar pure maple syrup. Hah! Log Cabin ain’t the real thing. It ain’t the good stuff. They can change the packaging, but they can’t change the label. I suppose Log Cabin is banking on folks that don’t read the labels.
I started reading the labels back in the 80s. Maybe if this kerfuffle gets enough air time, a few more people will start reading labels. And that would be a good thing.