As a child, I can remember my parents subjecting us to "Maple Syrup" if they were in particularly generous moods. It was always a dark brown colour and had a sickly sweet taste that over powered the taste of the pancakes and lingered in not such a nice way on the tongue. I resisted all attempts to feed me anything Maple since those awful memories were formed several decades ago.
No maple flavoured product passed these lips be it candy, icecream, or syrup. That is until just this last fall, when I was approached by a person at work who had access to a case of canned maple syrup from the Quebec Sugar Maple. Being the practical person that I am I purchased a case, eight cans, of syrup with the expectation that this natural sweet would last for years in my long term storage shelves for use in a time when I am forced to use it as the only opportunity for sweet.
It has been three months since we purchased the syrup and what I have found is that real maple syrup isn't thick, gooey, sickly sweet, or disgusting at all. Real maple syrup is only slightly thicker than water, sweet but in a mild after thought kind of way, and the flavour goes so well with so many dishes; roasted root vegetables, BBQ beans, pulled pork shoulder, and of course the obligatory breakfast breads like french toast, pancakes, and waffles.
I have examined this phenomenon and have decided that the real problem lay not in my being a picky eater as a child, it is hard to be picky when you eat what is in front of you or starve. No, the real culprit is the food makers who fill cheap food, like corn syrup, with fake flavours to increase their profit margins. So parents, if you want your kids to eat and like good, real food then feed them the authentic stuff not the overly sweet, sticky, imitation crap that the food industry wants to shove into any eager mouth. In the meantime, next year I think I'll buy two cases of maple syrup, just so we have enough to get us through lean times when they come.