I wrote last night about how waffles make a great, nutritious breakfast – something to help start off your day with sustained energy. However, dousing your home-made waffles with sugary, sticky, artificial syrup (yes, Mrs.Butterworth, I’m looking in your direction) just negates all the good nutritional karma you’ve built up. Not only do those ‘pancake’ syrups tend to be overly sweet and thus completely mask the delicious taste of homemade waffles, but just reading their ingredient lists is enough to give you science class flashbacks – tons of complicated compounds and additives, nary a natural item on the list. And once you get off the sugar high, which will be quick given the sweetness of the syrups, you won’t fee so good about you day anymore.
Pure maple syrup, on the other hand, has just the right hint of sweetness without being too heavy or numbingly syrupy. This is how nature intended us to complement our breakfasts – with the earthy, sweet tang of mapley goodness. Warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave, maple syrup becomes easily pourable onto your freshly made waffles - and boy does it add just the right undernotes while still letting the bite and taste of the waffles come through.
Now, I realize that maple syrup is pricier than the artificial syrups – but there are different brands and different varietals (a listing of which will be a separate post altogether) that can fit your budget. Don’t be scared off by the notion that all maple syrup is an indulgence; there are certainly options for the thrifty amongst us too. Specifically, I find that Grade B maple syrups are less expensive than Grade A, but still work wonderfully on waffles and pancakes. They have a slightly richer flavor and are thicker, but as I mentioned above, microwaving in a small bowl for a few seconds helps with the viscosity. I’ve been using a big batch of Whole Foods’ 265 brand Grade B syrup for a while now – I find it economical enough to even share with breakfast guests !
ITEM: WHOLE FOODS 365 BRAND GRADE B MAPLE SYRUP
TASTE: You can definitely taste the maple in the syrup, and the sweetness doesnt overwhelm the flavor. The syrup adds a nice sweetness to waffles and pancakes, but is definitely a more subtle flavor than the imitation syrups.
APPEARANCE: Slightly thick after opening and storing in the refrigerator, the syrup loosens up nicely if microwaved for a few seconds. A nice golden brown color, the syrup is not sticky at all.
RATING: Like it. While there are small-batch producers with a much richer maple syrups, which are worth the indulgence occasionally, the Whole Foods generic brand has enough flavor and is economical enough to suit the everyday usage.