Excuse me waiter, is this really maple syrup? A little rant……

So what is this all about? I have had 2 instances in the last year when I have ordered a dish in a cafe with maple syrup and I have been given some taste alternative. First time my maple syrup was  replaced with  cheap golden syrup – not the same thing, and the second time I was given a turkish grape juice thing – quite nice, but  definitely not the same . I am not sure why people think it is ok to put maple syrup on the billing, then just decided to change it with out a ‘by your leave’.

During a day out, late  last summer, ‘Porridge with Maple Syrup‘ at Browns in Canary Wharf arrived as Porridge with Some Sort of  Seriously Sugary Yellow Syrup…which is, to my taste buds a completely different thing. Maple syrup is the sap from a tree, not the sweepings of the sugar factory floor – ok it is boiled down so is mostly sugar, but it has a lovely  taste, has a few nutrients still intact unlike its golden syrup sibling  that is just too sweet and sickly for my tastes. ’Sorry’ they say when I point out the error, ‘we ran out of Maple Syrup so we are giving you a cheap alternative to it, and we did not bother telling you, because we are assuming you have no sense of taste and would not notice the difference.’ Harsh? I don’t think so when you are paying almost 4 quid for a bowl of porridge, and the difference in price between an egg cup of maple syrup and other syrup would be a pretty marked little profit.

I am now quite cynical about  the billing of maple syrup on a menu. Today, in a very nice turkish place in north London, that does a mean shish, I  felt I had better double check – asked the waiter “will it be real maple syrup with my yoghurt and pistachios?’ “yes “( all a bit mono syllabic)…the dish arrived I put my finger in the ‘maple syrup’ “Are you sure this is maple syrup?” “yes”. It soooooo obviously was not. I caught the  manager-looking-chap’s eye “can I see the bottle that this ‘maple syrup’ came from please?”, and out comes the jar of  turkish syrup made from grape juice ( the only word in english on the bottle) -it seems if you boil anything for long enough it becomes a syrup . Ok, so it tasted alright but that is really not the point…is it? well is it?… Am I being too picky? Is it ok for a cafe or restaurant to just change the ingredient ( and we are talking about dishes with only 2 or three ingredients) and just not mention it? Surely there is a law out there? Comments please……..

Rant over…

SONG OF THE DAY – Plumbline – 100 9a – From the Album  – Pin Points

Some  call this genre IDM -Intelligent Dance Music…This is not my favourite track of the album which is 555 W24, but so classy it is not on youtube. “Pin Points, Plumbline’s second full-length, continues with the theme of maps, locations, and architecture, although its focus is much more local: New York City. The buildings used had a strong visual, architectual, or emotional connection, each building then went on to represent a track on the CD. Armed with a microphone and DAT recorder the ambience of each building was recorded.” cool. I love the atmosphere of this piece. The album is  excellent to listen to on journeys. Mt chill out of choice at the moment. Thanks mr P.


One thought on “Excuse me waiter, is this really maple syrup? A little rant……

  1. I have been reading your ‘This and That’ for a long time now and this is my favorite; It is like ordering fresh orange juice and getting something out of a carton that has ‘Fresh’ printed on it, I love it:)

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