The Food Snob Series – Aunt Jemima Syrup

Ok, don’t get all sensitive and teary eyed…I don’t have anything against your Aunt Jemima. But let’s be clear about one thing – in the world of pancake syrup, you definitely get what you pay for. Do you seriously think that you’ll be getting a quality product when a bottle of Aunt Jemima (or Mrs. Butterworth for that matter) will cost you $3.49 versus Grade A or B pure maple syrup can easily cost 4 times that price?

Let’s go through the ingredients in Aunt Jemima – corn seems to be the star of the show here (and somehow, I don’t think they cared much to make sure it was non-GMO corn). The cellulose gum is used as a thickening agent to make this appear syrup like – don’t worry, it must be good for you…especially since it is used in so many hair styling products. The lineup of preservatives after these “ingredients” seems pretty high for a simple breakfast syrup.

INGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

This product will provide you no nutritional value at all, unlike its real food counterpart. Maple syrup is filled with antioxidant compounds, digests better than sugar and is an excellent source of manganese, along with zinc, iron, calcium and potassium.

This morning, I enjoyed a pancake breakfast, but instead of reaching into my usual stash of frozen organic blueberries, I pulled out a recent find at Costco – Townsend Farms Organic Dark Tart Cherries.  These cherries are so delicious and addictive – I have been putting them in everything! Morning oatmeal, cherry crumble, with yogurt and granola – the possibilities are endless!

I buy my maple syrup from Whole Foods – they always have a large variety and their 365 Organic brand is a reasonable price for an Organic Grade B syrup.  Did you know that maple syrup grading is ranked the opposite from what you would expect? Grade B will always be a darker syrup than Grade A and is best used as a table syrup. If you are using syrup in cooking or baking, Grade A would suffice.  If you’re used to buying imitation syrups, it may be a sticker shock initially, but really, how often do you eat pancakes or waffles? And once you’ve had real maple syrup, I don’t think you’ll ever want to go back to the other stuff.

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