Does maple syrup need to be refrigerated? Marino says the answer is a big fat yes. "Maple syrup—if it’s been boiled and packaged according to Quebec’s standards—keeps at room temperature for a very long time in most containers, including glass or squeeze-type plastic bottles. However, tests have shown that some containers do not provide foolproof barriers to oxygen," he explains. "That’s why we recommend that you keep unopened containers in the fridge to prolong the life of the maple syrup."
Marino says that when maple syrup is made, it's packaged while hot at 185° F so that it remains sterilized, just like the process of making homemade jams and preservatives. Then, it's firmly sealed which keeps any oxygen from seeping in. But once you crack the container open, oxygen can easily enter the container, making it easier for bacteria to form. If kept in the refrigerator, Marino says a bottle of maple syrup can last several years. If it's kept in the pantry, he says mold can start to form quicker.
Here's the thing though: cold maple syrup on your pancake stack just sounds...unappealing. Fortunately, it's a fate Marino says we don't have to suffer. "The best way to warm up maple syrup would be to take it out ahead of time and let it reach room temperature or heat it on the stovetop over low heat," he says.
Marino says there's another common maple syrup mistake he sees people making a lot: buying an inauthentic product and assuming it's the real deal. "'Pancake syrup' is not real maple syrup," he says. "Fake syrups are filled with a slurry of sugar, artificial flavors, and corn syrup." He says true maple syrup only has one ingredient (the maple syrup) and is labeled as "100 percent maple syrup."
Put his advice into action and you'll not only be armed with legit, delicious-tasting syrup but also ensure it safely lives a long, mold-free life. Just think how horrible it would be to have some freshly-made matcha pancakes ready to eat only to discover mold on your maple syrup. Store your bottle in the fridge and it's a nightmare situation you'll never know.
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