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.

1 Comment

  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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