How is pancake syrup different from maple syrup? Can I use them in place of each other?
— Trudy Baker, Providence, RI
PANCAKE SYRUP — the sweet, thick concoction made by brands like Mrs. Butterworth’s and Aunt Jemima — is mostly corn syrup and artificial maple flavor. It isn’t much like pure maple syrup at all. We don’t recommend you use it in place of maple syrup, especially when flavor is an important factor. Maple syrup is made through a process of collecting sap from maple trees, then boiling it until thick and syrupy. It’s graded, depending on where it’s from, and according to color and flavor. The light amber-colored syrup has a mild flavor, and the dark-colored syrup has a molasses-like flavor. Because the process of making pure maple syrup is laborintensive, it can be quite expensive, but the results of using it are well worth it. Plus, when stored in the refrigerator, it keeps for up to a year. It’s delicious in place of pancake syrup on pancakes and waffles. Also try it in the MapleWalnut Bars on page 15.