This fall, say hello maple and so long pumpkin spice


Come on, admit it. You're so over the pumpkin-spice craze.

Seasonal beer, coffee drinks and cookies spiced with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon are one thing. But when those cozy fall flavors sneak their way into a Kit Kit candy bar or a stick of Burt Bees lip balm or onto a pizza, you know it's officially jumped the shark. Big time. 

Which is why some of us were glad to hear that a new flavor will supposedly supplant pumpkin spice this fall − maple.

RELATED: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte returns with livestream to watch ‘Pumpkin Hatch’

At least that's what MarketWatch would have us (hopefully) believe, based on a report from the analytics company 1010data. It notes that even as pumpkin spice flavor continues to grow in popularity to the tune of 49 percent more products a year sales just aren't holding pace. Maple, meanwhile, "is surging." 

Measured against the same quarter last year, sales of maple-flavored beverages have almost doubled while maple-flavored cocktails have climbed 14.6 percent. Which might explain why beverage giants Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts debuted maple-pecan coffee drinks this fall. Dunkin' also is featuring a 630-caloried Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich. But is maple really the next big thing? And will its sweet, distinctive flavor be something that consumers naturally crave when the weather gets cooler?

While all maple syrup is made according to the same process, there's a grading system for maple products that differentiates between the natural variations in color and flavor. The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the taste. Sap processed later in the season produces a more robust and darker syrup.

Maple syrup can be substituted for honey or agave one for one, but you'll want to use only a cup of syrup for every 1 cup of white sugar in baking, while also reducing the other liquids in the recipe by 3 tablespoons. Go for the good (real) stuff, even though it's more expensive, as it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. However you enjoy fall's hottest flavor, know that you're making a nutritious choice. Not only is maple syrup high in healthful antioxidants but it also includes essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. 

 MAPLE-BOURBON SMASH

PG tested

This maple cocktail is full of fall flavors, and so easy.

an ounce pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber

an ounce fresh orange juice \ ounce fresh lemon juice 4 dashes of Angostura bitters

an orange wheel 2 ounces bourbon Ice 1

 2 ounces chilled seltzer

In a rocks glass, combine maple syrup with orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add bourbon and stir well. Fill glass with ice and top with chilled seltzer. 

Makes 1 drink. 

_ (c)2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at www.post-gazette.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food & Dining

‘Dietland’ is violent, disruptive and surreal. Enjoy the ride!
‘Dietland’ is violent, disruptive and surreal. Enjoy the ride!

The most subversive moment on television this summer? It might be a cartoon credit sequence for “Dietland,” the new show from Marti Noxon that debuts on AMC on June 4. As it begins, a fat woman struggles up a mountain molded from desserts and fairground rides. She shrinks as she climbs, shedding her shapeless black wrap for a skintight...
Spanish food? Sí, por favor!
Spanish food? Sí, por favor!

More than 46 million people live in Spain. And among them, they have more than 46 million different recipes for paella. Spain is not large by American standards; in area it totals the size of California plus South Carolina. Yet it comprises 16 distinct regions, each with its own way of cooking — and in some cases, its own language. Murcia, in...
Sacramento has a craft beer industry worth writing a book about
Sacramento has a craft beer industry worth writing a book about

Justin Chechourka says that when Sacramento craft brewers make beer, they are chasing their passions, not money. It’s about doing do something they love. “That’s why I equate them to artists,” said Chechourka, whose book “Sacramento Beer: A Craft History” recently hit the electronic shelves of Amazon and Barnes &...
Au revoir real camembert? French connoisseurs denounce new label
Au revoir real camembert? French connoisseurs denounce new label

French cheese connoisseurs want everyone who loves the country’s culinary heritage to hear their anguished, almost unimaginable cry: Boycott French Camembert. Because soon enough, they warn, that creamy, pungent icon of France, will give way to a tasteless paste masquerading as the real thing. Beginning in 2021, Camembert made from pasteurized...
The only pancakes worth getting out of bed for on a lazy Sunday
The only pancakes worth getting out of bed for on a lazy Sunday

When I was learning how to cook, I began by taking baby steps. I used a lot of products that gave me a jump start on the preparations. Boxed brownie mix. Dried tabbouleh. Bottled dressing. Canned frosting. Bisquick. I recall buying the bulk box of Bisquick at Costco. I made biscuits, ill-advised pizza crusts and goodness knows what else. The pancakes...
More Stories