What Goes in to Aunt Jemima’s “Original Syrup”?

Aunt Jemima is a brand that’s been around for over 100 years. It conjures thoughts of  Southern hospitality. It’s comforting to know a brand has been around that long. You can probably trust it..

And thus, many people buy their pancake kit (mix + syrup) from Aunt Jemima.

Here’s why Aunt Jemima thinks you should buy her syrup:

Give your pancakes what they deserve and top them with the classic taste of Aunt Jemima® Original Syrup. Our rich and thick syrup is the perfect way to top your family’s favorite pancakes and waffles.

Classic taste. Rich and thick. Original – sounds like maple syrup, doesn’t it?

What you need to know:

Here is the ingredient list of the “original syrup” (you’ll have to look hard to find maple):

CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

Nope, No maple syrup here. Instead, 10 different chemicals combined to reach the same flavor and texture of the truly original pancake syrup. You can bet that they are much cheaper to procure and mix than maple syrup is. Here are a few highlights:

HFCS – jury is out on whether this is what’s causing obesity rates to skyrocket or not. But whether high fructose corn syrup is the culprit or not, one thing is for sure. Its presence is usually the sign of a highly processed product that does not offer any nutritional benefits, and may actually cause harm.

(By the way, Aunt Jemima is owned by Quaker Oats, which is owned by PepsiCo. They probably get a great price on the high fructose corn syrup.)

Sodium benzoate – a preservative to stop molding, but it has its share of problems. Even Coca Cola stopped using it a few years ago.

Sodium hexametaphosphate – a water softener.

Artificial and Natural flavors - do their best to make the syrup taste original.

What to do at the supermarket:

Although maple syrup is more expensive than these fake concoctions, you really shouldn’t consume much. Which means it can last for a long time. So go ahead and splurge…

(If you want to show your support for real maple syrup, you can also join this Facebook group.)

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  • http://www.foodieformerlyfat.com Foodie, Formerly Fat

    This “syrup” is one of the things that I rail against! 100% pure maple syrup is so much more delicious than this manufactured and chemically crap I just don’t understand why people buy the Aunt Jemima in the first place. 100% pure maple syrup is also filled with minerals that are good for the body.

    Processed foods are the greatest health threat we face. People would do so well to make their “diets” simply process free and they’d be shocked at the weight and health benefits they’d reap.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000152546697 Kemal Kocak

      People are gullible and blue-eyed. They don’t think that food producers would cut every single corner and even break a few walls to minimise the manufacturing costs…

  • http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com Erika

    My personal tip? Skip the maple syrup altogether and spread some jam or jelly on your stuff. Tastes SO much better!

    • Sparkina

      I do the jam thing on pancakes/waffles/French toast all the time. Applesauce on pancakes/waffles/French toast is also delish.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598903155 Michael Nas Moody

      Gotta be careful with jam as well. Some of them have high fructose corn syrup.

  • JoeFood

    Real maple syrup is the best! Love it in my oatmeal. The flavor is so complex that you don’t need nearly a lot. With the fake stuff (I was raised on Log Cabin, way better than AJ) it seems like you need gallons of it just to get you taste buds satisfied.

    Another benefit to the real stuff: it can be a very local product. Every state with maple trees should have a local syrup.

    Also, other tree syrups (e.g. box elder and birch) are supposed to be tasty. Supposedly some have more “maple” flavor than maple trees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1097187304 Joyce Milbauer Benton

    OR, for a cheap at homemade version – my mother’s recipe that I have been making for years and my family will not settle for anything else:

    2 cups sugar
    1 cup water
    Bring to boil – let boil 2 minutes.
    Add 1 teaspoon maple flavoring.
    Cool, it will thicken perfectly, enjoy!

  • MealPlanMom(Brenda)

    I have to admit that until a few years ago I really didn’t think that it didn’t contain any real maple. I feel worse now because that’s when my children were younger…so much extra sugar! Now I’m in the know and always learning more. We have switched to using (real) whip cream instead to add a little sweetness. Much less sugar and no HFCS.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Real whipped cream, while absolutely delicious, adds saturated fat to the equation, don’t forget…

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Real whipped cream, while absolutely delicious, adds saturated fat to the equation, don’t forget…

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Real whipped cream, while absolutely delicious, adds saturated fat to the equation, don’t forget…

      • MealPlanMom(Brenda)

        True, but when comparing the labels I found that while the syrup has no saturated fats, it does have 60 more calories per serving than the whipped cream and 21 more grams of sugar. Right now the saturated fat is the lesser of the evils in our home because we make other healthy food choices most of the time so our overall saturated fat intake is not that high. It’s all relative.

      • MealPlanMom(Brenda)

        True, but when comparing the labels I found that while the syrup has no saturated fats, it does have 60 more calories per serving than the whipped cream and 21 more grams of sugar. Right now the saturated fat is the lesser of the evils in our home because we make other healthy food choices most of the time so our overall saturated fat intake is not that high. It’s all relative.

  • Lauren

    Wait a minute, you’re telling me there’s zero maple in this syrup? That’s out of control. I buy the real shebang in VT from the tree. I never would’ve thought this was possible. Nasty (I know not the most professional comment)

  • NormaIrisVidal

    I find maple syrup too sweet.

  • ann

    I top my buckwheat pancakes with lots of sliced bananas or raisins or finely chopped apples to add that sweetness. Love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Horowitz/100000964368254 Rachel Horowitz

    Having eaten this as a kid, maple syrup is something I’ve had to get used to … but then again, I rarely have a need for any syrup. My sister, however, feeds this crap to her kid. I’ve pointed out that it’s nothing but HFCS and crap, but she rarely listens to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511171567 Austin Danger Wiegand

      Sounds like my cousin. Eggs cooked in sausage grease are delicious, but not for a 1 year old!

  • Michelle

    We mostly use maple syrup, but sometimes I buy Log Cabin’s natural jug they now sell. It’s a lot cheaper and it doesn’t have any preservatives or HFCS. Thanks for this post! @naturalbaker

  • Fitday19550

    Even if you can’t afford maple syrup, there are other things you can use (in addition to the ideas already listed.) Brown sugar syrup, made as Joyce says but with brown sugar rather than white. Brown sugar and butter. Molasses. Fruit syrups (read the ingredients to get real fruit and less sugar). Homemade fruit syrups: 4 parts blueberries simmered in 1 part sugar is delicious and easy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BWVPISSXKYB4YVFODJXZ4PCIQ AmyH

    As someone who grew up eating Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin, I had to learn that real maple syrup has to be refrigerated. I ruined some perfectly good pancakes with syrup that had clumps of mold in it when it poured out. Honestly, now I’m a little grossed out by the fake stuff not molding in the cabinet.

  • Molly

    GREAT INFO   
    thanks
    those poor folks  who live where where it doesn’t grow …..