When they think of syrup, many people picture a plate of steaming hot pancakes drenched in maple syrup. While maple syrup is one type of syrup, there are many other types of syrup in the world. Some are used in baking, some as a food topping and some syrups are used in cocktails as a sweetener. Basically a syrup is a thick, liquid generally made with sugar.
Real maple syrup is produced by boiling down the sap of a maple tree until it is thick and sweet. Artificial maple syrup is common today, as it is much less expensive than the real kind. Maple syrup is most commonly used as a breakfast sweetener, poured over pancakes, waffles and oatmeal.
Mix together 1 lb. of white sugar and 13 oz. of water. Stir this mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Let this mixture cool and you have simple syrup, useful for bartenders all over the world. This syrup is used to sweeten cocktails and mixed drinks because granulated sugar won't easily dissolve in cold liquids.
This sweetener, made from corn starch, is in almost every home in America in the form of soft drinks, ketchup, ice cream and thousands of other commercially made food products. Baked goods made with corn syrup turn out moister and have a better texture, while the syrup itself is economical because it won't crystallize, giving it a long shelf life.
Without chocolate syrup we could never have chocolate sundaes, a staple of ice cream stands all over the country. Chocolate syrup is made from cocoa powder, flavorings and corn syrup. This versatile chocolate topping is used on ice cream, cake, in milk and in many other dessert applications.
Honey is a naturally-made syrup, created in beehives. The flavor of various honeys depends on the flowers from which they were made. Honey is used worldwide as a sweetener for baked goods and beverages.
Molasses is the leftover product after cane sugar crystals have been removed during sugar cane refining. Molasses is used in baking, candy-making and in the production of rum. The better grades of molasses have a lighter color and flavor, while the darkest molasses, blackstrap, is used mainly as an additive to cattle feed.
Victoria Bailey owned and managed restaurants for 25 years, from an award-winning gourmet bistro to a pre-hipster artisan coffee house. She's constantly following food and wine trends and has even created her own private coffee bean blend. Bailey's work has been published in a number of industry magazines, and she literally wrote the book (well, one of them) on opening a neighborhood pizza restaurant.