The Austin Chronicle

Tasty Find: Maple Craft Foods & Their Superlative Syrups

By Wayne Alan Brenner, December 17, 2020, 7:00am, On the Range

It’s getting to be perfect pancake weather lately, y’think? And the colder it gets, the more perfect it is.

[Note: Of course we realize that “perfect” is an absolute and not amenable to such modification. We’re journalists, not TikTok stars. Now put down that shiv and back away.]

Pancake weather, we were saying: Here it is! So we’ll cook us up a fine mess of those fluffy, bready, palate-pleasing things, whether for breakfast or lunch or dinner, and we’ll drizzle a bunch of locally sourced maple syrup on top and –

[sound of needle scratching across a record]

Oh, right: We don’t have maple syrup here in Texas.

This big, blustery Lone Star State, which is so much about having braggin’ rights to things … this oil-stained Southwestern fanfaronade of a republic that’s always so pleased to promote itself as bigger and better … doesn’t have its own maple syrup.

Cue the sad trombone.

But, wait – that's not really true: There is maple syrup in Texas. There's a hell of a lot of maple syrup in Texas, it turns out. And hurray for that.

But when it comes to the glorious tree-borne fluid that’s so well-suited to drenching a warm pile of flapjacks with, we usually get it from some goddam Yankees, don’t we? Or even (may the ghosts of the Alamo not haunt us!) from Canadians. Oh, the humanity!

But that's the part of our planet that's known for maple syrup, after all. That's rightfully known for it. And, even then, not all maple syrups are created equal.

Citizen, let us introduce you to Maple Craft Foods out of Connecticut and Vermont – and to their particular brand of syrup.

Let us introduce you – because it’s so damn good, for one thing. Because, for another thing, even though it’s real maple syrup, these Maple Craft syrups come in a few flavors that you always grudgingly enjoy at IHOP’s high-fructose-corn-syrup joints whenever you deign to patronize that *fnord* chain – probably while in the midst of a hangover and your over-indulgent spouse or bestie’s gotta drive you there, amirite?

But, yes: This company’s organic, slow-boiled, actual maple syrup comes enhanced with a variety of flavors. Blueberry. Salted caramel. Elderberry. Apple cinnamon. Gingerbread. Peppermint bark.

(Peppermint bark, FFS!)

But what’s even more important, especially if you’re a maple syrup purist, is that these guys also offer just straight-up maple syrup, too – and some of that has been aged in bourbon barrels, to better hone it toward liquid perfection.

Only problem is, now that you know about this stuff, you’ll need some pancakes to serve as willing vehicles, right? And where the hell are you gonna –

Oh, look: Maple Craft Foods also has a pancake mix you can order.

[SPOILER ALERT: We’ve tried it. It’s easy to use. And it’s doubleplus yum.]

So you’ll be set, now, for the most delicious sort of breakfast … or lunch … or dinner.

And, in case you’re like, “Sure, but what am I supposed to eat these syrupy pancakes with?”
Then we’ll suggest that a side of bacon will be just the –

What? Oh … you mean, like, utensils? Flatware?

Tell you what: Foodstiks.


Because, with Foodstiks, there’s no fuss, no bother, and no plastic involved – because Foodstiks are forks and knives and spoons made of wood. That’s right: 100% natural birch. So they’re 100% renewable and 100% compostable and they’re not ever going to wind up adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or anything like that.

You know what we’re talking about.

And, while this convenient cutlery is sturdy enough to use on any sort of noms you’ll be happily shoveling mouthward, if we’re talking about pancakes here – and we are talking about pancakes here – can you imagine the almost poetic resonance of having ’cakes drenched in the natural tree-product of maple syrup and eating them with a fork that’s also a natural product of trees? Especially since all the Foodstiks wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests?

Yeah, we’re thinking this is definitely a win/win/win situation.

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