Today on the tray: Maple syrup

December 17 is National Maple Syrup Day.

From Wikipedia: Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Remember that episode of The Facts of Life when Tootie had an imaginary friend who was full of maple syrup? And then she got suspended for trying to unscrew Mrs. Garrett’s head? What do you mean, that never happened? I’ve got proof.

Kim Fields in Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup commercial (1978)

Well, Mrs. B and Mrs. G are both matronly women with hair buns — who wouldn’t be confused?

While Mrs. Butterworth’s had Kim Fields, Log Cabin had Eddy Arnold and a jingle:

Eddy Arnold in Log Cabin syrup commercial (1976)

Oh, Log Cabin makes good syrups!
’Bout the best as anyone can
Whether regular or buttered
’Bout the best brand in the land.

Arnold Ziffel and Eddie Albert
Eddie Albert and Arnold

I always used to confuse Eddy Arnold and Eddie Albert—partly because Eddie Albert played Oliver on Green Acres, a show where there was a character named Arnold. Come to think of it, Arnold was a pig, and sausage is made of pigs, and people put syrup on sausage, so it all comes full circle.

To add to all this confusion, neither Mrs. Butterworth’s nor Log Cabin are true maple syrups, since they contain mostly high-fructose corn syrup and maple “flavoring.”

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