This fall, say hello maple and so long pumpkin spice


Come on, admit it. You're so over the pumpkin-spice craze.

Seasonal beer, coffee drinks and cookies spiced with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon are one thing. But when those cozy fall flavors sneak their way into a Kit Kit candy bar or a stick of Burt Bees lip balm or onto a pizza, you know it's officially jumped the shark. Big time. 

Which is why some of us were glad to hear that a new flavor will supposedly supplant pumpkin spice this fall − maple.

RELATED: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte returns with livestream to watch ‘Pumpkin Hatch’

At least that's what MarketWatch would have us (hopefully) believe, based on a report from the analytics company 1010data. It notes that even as pumpkin spice flavor continues to grow in popularity to the tune of 49 percent more products a year sales just aren't holding pace. Maple, meanwhile, "is surging." 

Measured against the same quarter last year, sales of maple-flavored beverages have almost doubled while maple-flavored cocktails have climbed 14.6 percent. Which might explain why beverage giants Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts debuted maple-pecan coffee drinks this fall. Dunkin' also is featuring a 630-caloried Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich. But is maple really the next big thing? And will its sweet, distinctive flavor be something that consumers naturally crave when the weather gets cooler?

While all maple syrup is made according to the same process, there's a grading system for maple products that differentiates between the natural variations in color and flavor. The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the taste. Sap processed later in the season produces a more robust and darker syrup.

Maple syrup can be substituted for honey or agave one for one, but you'll want to use only a cup of syrup for every 1 cup of white sugar in baking, while also reducing the other liquids in the recipe by 3 tablespoons. Go for the good (real) stuff, even though it's more expensive, as it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. However you enjoy fall's hottest flavor, know that you're making a nutritious choice. Not only is maple syrup high in healthful antioxidants but it also includes essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. 

 MAPLE-BOURBON SMASH

PG tested

This maple cocktail is full of fall flavors, and so easy.

an ounce pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber

an ounce fresh orange juice \ ounce fresh lemon juice 4 dashes of Angostura bitters

an orange wheel 2 ounces bourbon Ice 1

 2 ounces chilled seltzer

In a rocks glass, combine maple syrup with orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add bourbon and stir well. Fill glass with ice and top with chilled seltzer. 

Makes 1 drink. 

_ (c)2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at www.post-gazette.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Good Samaritan closing: Employees still in shock 
Good Samaritan closing: Employees still in shock 

A day after the announcement that Good Samaritan Hospital will shut its doors for good at the end of the year, employees said their still trying to come to grips with the initial shock.  Some didn't know anything about it prior to the announcement, while others say they'd heard behind-the scenes rumblings. But all of them said Thursday that there's...
How to survive a break up with your best friend
How to survive a break up with your best friend

When the Four Seasons sang that bit about "breaking up is hard to do," they clearly meant romantic relationships. Breaking up with a best friend might be even harder. "Friends aren't just icing on the cake of life – they're the cake," psychologist Thelma Duffey stated in Psychology Today. "Our friends are the people...
Premier planning to redevelop Good Sam site once hospital closes
Premier planning to redevelop Good Sam site once hospital closes

Premier Health officials have told this news organization that they want to "transform" the soon-to-be former main campus of Good Samaritan Hospital once the facility closes at the end of the year. They don't know exactly what redevelopment will look like on the site once the buildings are razed, but they say it's a process they will be...
Why Winter Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try somewhere or something new
Why Winter Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try somewhere or something new

Twice a year, every year, Dayton restaurant chefs break out their most unbeatable lineups of dishes that they think you must try.Restaurant Week is the opportunity to try a number of Dayton’s favorites without emptying your wallet. The 2018 Winter Restaurant Week is Sunday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 28. “This is a week the...
5 questions every man in his 40s should ask his doctor
5 questions every man in his 40s should ask his doctor

Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor unless they're desperate. But routine doctor's visits – especially when you hit your 40s and beyond – can help you be as healthy as possible. Getting regular care and screenings can help your doctor catch and treat issues while they're in their earliest stages. »RELATED: 4 health...
More Stories