Syrup" can be a confusing word because it functions as both a broad term for any thick, sweet liquid as well as a short term for the beloved breakfast condiment.  Wikipedia lists no fewer than 15 terms that contain the word "syrup,” to say nothing of its other family members like molasses and honey.  So let's get more specific.

When we talk about syrup as in breakfast syrup, we generally mean maple syrup, which is the lovely sweet stuff made from the sap of certain types of maple trees.  Pure maple syrup, particularly the really good stuff, can get pricey, which is why most of us are more likely to have imitation maple syrup (such as Aunt Jemima or Eggo) in our pantries.  These are mostly made with high-fructose corn syrup and maple flavoring. Because these brands contain no actual maple syrup, labeling laws prohibit  the companies from even using the word "maple" on the bottle.  Whether or not it's worth the extra cost for the real McCoy, we wouldn't dare opine.  The point is, technically, the word "syrup" applies to both. 

 Our research indicates that, while maple syrup doesn't actually "go bad,” mold from spores in the air has a tendency to form on its surface, so it is best to refrigerate it, though not necessary. The imitation stuff tends to contain more preservatives, so  it’s even safer unrefrigerated. 

And just in case you're wondering: molasses comes from sugar cane and sugar beets; honey comes from nectar, from flowers.  They’re totally different animals from maple (or maple-flavored)  syrup, if no less delicious with breakfast.

Syrup Shelf Life
Syrup, opened- -6-8 months
Syrup, unopened1 year- -
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

You must be logged in to post a comment or question.

Sign In or Register for free.