Maple Syrup

52 Reasons Maple Syrup Is Actually the Best

Mimi Sheraton, we hope you'll forgive us.

October  3, 2018
Paging Sunday morning. Photo by Bobbi Lin

We worship Mimi Sheraton. Consequently, we're fervent followers of her Twitter account, where posts are infrequent but as clever and incisive as they come.

A few weeks back, though, she fired off a missive in response to a The New York Times story about how ranch dressing became a national phenomenon that we couldn't possibly hit with a "like":

We were taken aback. "If it's possible? Of course it's possible," we thought. "Maple syrup is the best! Et tu, Mimi?" Then, she blew the lid bottle cap off of the whole thing with a Washington Post piece called "What do I hate about maple syrup? Basically everything."

"How can I hate it?" she writes. "Let me count the ways." She goes on to admonish the flavor ("cheap, like penny candy") and texture. Spoiler alert: Sheraton dislikes pancakes, as well (too soggy).

As much as it pains us to disagree with Sheraton, we're maple syrup fanatics—we can't get enough of the stuff.

How can we love it? Let us count the ways:

1. It's the best natural sweetener for baking, according to James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Joanne Chang.

2. We love to put it in our coffee.

3. And in our chai!

4. We can't imagine matzoh brei without it—nor would we want to.

5 & 6. It's a surprisingly delicious sidekick to chicken. (Even Sheraton notes, "I do recall one maple-informed dish that I enjoyed enough to have several times. It was a maple-glazed roasted chicken...")

7-9. And a not-so-surprisingly best friend to pork.

10 & 11. Then there's maple-glazed salmon—and don't forget duck!

12-14. Unlike Sheraton, we love to drizzle maple syrup on a big, buttery stack of pancakes.

15-18. When we're sick of pancakes, we break out the waffles.

19. You'd be surprised what maple syrup can add to a crispy latke! (Especially when you've already got some sour cream and warm applesauce going.)

20. Smiling's our favorite, and it made us smile in Elf:

Photo by

21. Life without this persimmon cake sounds bleak:

22. We use it to sweeten whipped cream all day long.

23-30. These dreamy tarts and cakes depend on it!

31-32. It's the little bit of magic you didn't realize your salad dressing needed.

33. Two words: chia jam. (Three more words: Make it now!)

34-35. Maple brings out the natural sweetness in roasted vegetables, like squash and carrots.

36. It brings home the bacon, in a big way.

37. And it doesn't do any disservice to eggs, either!

38. What's that? Oh sorry, forgot what we were doing for a sec, because we were busy eating a big spoonful of this:

39. And then after the caramel, we got into a jar of maple cream—no regrets here!

40-42. It's one of our favorite guests at happy hour. Namely in Maple-Rye Old Fashioneds, Maple-Jalapeño Bourbon Cocktails, and Blueberry Maple Sazeracs.

43-44. It's the linchpin of our favorite granola, and our favorite grain-free version.

45. If you haven't had maple cinnamon toast, you should cancel your plans tonight.

46. Maple syrup is an easy way to sweeten homemade yogurt.

47-50. It pairs so very nicely with pumpkin.

51. It may just be the next big thing in skincare.

52. How on earth did we get all the way to #52 without mentioning maple candy?!

For more intel on maple syrup, including how it's harvested and graded, check out this podcast:

Whew! That was a long one. What's your favorite way to use maple? Let us know in the comments.

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Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.