Maple is one of those warm, comforting flavors that really doesn’t get the attention or credit it deserves. It’s sweet and nutty, brown sugary and caramely, all in one glorious flavor. It’s reminiscent of a cold, winter morning. When I think of maple syrup, I imagine being in a wooden cabin, surrounded by huge Christmas trees and blanketed with snow. Inside, there’s a roaring fire, a comfy flannel blanket and a steaming cup of coffee waiting for me. Jason Momoa is also there, dressed in a loin cloth, stoking the fire. But that’s just my fantasy. Maple is an inviting, cozy flavor that doesn’t seem to grace the snack food industry enough.
In fact, it’s the perfect flavor for the holidays, yet somehow, marketers miss the target on it. That’s probably because REAL maple syrup is hard to manufacture, and will generally lack those tantalizing flavors. Artificial maple pretty much tastes like brown sugar. The new Maple Cheerios says it’s made with “real maple syrup” and other natural flavors. We get pumpkin spice, gingerbread, peppermint and even hot cocoa. It’s time for maple to be celebrated.
Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap from a maple tree to get ONE gallon of maple syrup? No wonder the real stuff is so expensive! I read that on the back of my box of Maple Cheerios while I was playing the “fill the bucket” game they have there. A quick check of the ingredients, and sure enough -maple syrup is listed, just behind the brown sugar syrup. Let’s hope that warm, nutty and cozy maple flavoring outweighs the brown sugar in this!
My first bite of Maple Cheerios had my eyes rolling back. THAT is real maple syrup. It’s that sticky, sweet flavor I was hoping to find. And Cheerios just nailed it. The very first thing I tasted was a strong brown sugar. It’s delightfully nutty and sweet with a caramel flavor behind it. But then, that kick of unmistakable maple comes in and comes in strong. The brown sugar only compliments the real star of the show – the maple. You could literally mistake the flavors of this cereal as a pile of whole grain pancakes with butter and maple syrup poured over it.
I thought the milk really released the flavors. Eating them dry is a pretty pleasant experience, though – but they really just taste like brown sugar coated Cheerios. Once that milk hits them, that strong maple flavor is set free. It’s creamy and smooth and unmistakably maple syrup. It’s not overpowering, just the perfect amount of maple. And the aftertaste is absolutely amazing because the sweetness and mapley flavors just linger after you’re done.
A roaring, crackling fire; natural Christmas trees; Jason Momoa in minimal clothing; a beautiful snowy day… Cheerios hit the mark with this cereal. I hope that more companies take the lead and start making more maple flavored products during the holidays. Move over pumpkin spice – it’s time for more maple.