While at breakfast a few days ago I happened to get into a discussion with friends about syrup. Specifically, Real Maple Syrup vs. “pancake” syrup (herein: fake syrup). It was a thrilling breakfast, conversation wise, this just happened to come up in a lull while we were all staring at the menu.
After commenting that I always investigated the type of syrup offered and that it affected my ordering, one of my fellow diners accused me of being “a maple syrup snob.” Not wanting to be described as snobbish in any way, I backpedaled. And then, realizing the depths of my aversion to fake syrup, I admitted that yes, yes, I am a syrup snob.
Oddly enough, as a youngster, I used to eat Aunt Jemima. Back when the bottle was shaped like a portly, kind woman and my mom made Bisquick pancakes and my brothers and I used to compete to see who could eat the most (my older brother was the reigning champion). But then one day, my father brought home some real VT Pure Maple Syrup in one of those immensely over-sized aluminum containers that took up about half of the refrigerator and we were all hooked immediately. The cost was probably over four times as much, but the taste was incomparable and there was no going back.
If we didn’t have the real stuff in the house, there was no way I was eating waffles, pancakes, or crepes, not that the former was ever an offered option, but you get the idea. Despite the fights this caused, plate throwing and failed attempts at fooling us by filling up the real containers with the fake stuff, I stuck to my guns and apparently, that makes me a snob. I prefer connoisseur.
I maintain that although they are both classified as syrup, they are two separate things and that comparing them is as fruitless as comparing apples to oranges.
If I were to only eat VT Maple Syrup over NH Maple Syrup or any other state, denouncing me as a syrup snob would be correct. And perhaps in my refusal to eat fake syrup, there is something in labeling me as such.
But, in my defense, while reading through a cookbook last night, I found this:
“Do not even think about using “table” or “pancake” syrup in place of pure maple syrup. It will not yield the same results and it is a crime against nature.”
I believe I am vindicated.