We tried Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, Hungry Jack, Log Cabin, Super A, 365 Everyday Value, and Trader Joe's. See which one we liked best.
No pancake or waffle breakfast is complete without a hearty helping of maple syrup drizzled on top.
The brands we sampled were:
We bought all seven syrups at grocery stores in New York City, spending anywhere from $2.69 to $7.99 per bottle.
Trader Joe's and 365 Everyday Value were the only syrups we tried that were actually maple syrup. The five others are labeled simply as syrup, something that we kept in mind during our tasting.
Aunt Jemima's consistency fell squarely into the middle — it was neither overly thin nor thick.
Both Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth's instantly transported us back to our childhood. The taste reminded us of diner meals and homemade Sunday breakfasts.
Both of these syrups were lighter in color and much thinner in consistency. The sweetness we tasted in them was different from the sweetness in the non-maple syrups.
The sweetness in Trader Joe's and 365 Everyday Value came from a maple flavor that was lacking in the other five syrups. It was obvious that these two syrups were the least artificial, not only from their taste, but also from the fact that they weren't nearly as thick and gooey.
We preferred 365 Everyday Value because it didn't have the subtle aftertaste that we found Trader Joe's had.
That being said, the taste difference between the two maple syrups was very, very slight, so if you're looking for a better deal, you can't go wrong with Trader Joe's, which is a full $2 cheaper than 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods' home brand).
It also had the best pour, thanks to a smiley-face-shaped spout, and the fact that the syrup was slightly thicker than Aunt Jemima's and Mrs. Butterworth's.
Hungry Jack's sweetness was also more subtle and less artificial than Aunt Jemima's and Mrs. Butterworth's.
After multiple tastings, we decided that Hungry Jack had a little bit more flavor than Log Cabin.
There wasn't much that was memorable about this brand's syrup. It was relatively thin and flavorless compared to the others we sampled.
This brand's main selling point is the fact that it's by far the cheapest of the bunch.
If you grew up eating syrup as opposed to maple syrup, your best bet is Hungry Jack.
While all Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, Log Cabin, and Hungry Jack all brought back memories of childhood pancake breakfasts, Hungry Jack was the syrup that tasted the best. Its consistency was just right, its spout allowed for the most accurate pouring, and its taste was sweet, rich, and satisfying.
If you're looking for a more authentic taste — and are willing to spend a little more — go for 365 Everyday Value's maple syrup.