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Old 12-23-2002, 02:56 AM   #1
rewboss
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Default Maple Syrup: How to open

Back in November, Romesh's parents came to visit all the way from Canada, and I have to say they are exceedingly nice people. They arrived on a Saturday, and because Romesh had only just been stented (again), I carried their suitcases upstairs.

Picture the scene: Romesh's parents arrive, and at that moment an attractive young lady also turns up and says, "Is this the Drop Inn?" and I have to say, "Yes. Um... if you go in and talk to Paul for a bit, I'll be back in five minutes." I haul Romesh's parent's suitcases up to his apartment and his mother, who until ten minutes previously didn't know me from Adam and has only just arrived as a guest, and slightly jet-lagged, says to me, "Can I get you a coffee?" which I am forced to decline. (Unfortunately, the pretty young lady, it turned out, was heavily spoken for anyway, so I could have stayed for the coffee.)

Anyway, Romesh's mother is very motherly, and even though she didn't know me and had only spoken to me once on the phone before ("No, sorry, he's out at the moment, can I take a message?"), she brought me a present, and this is really what this thread is about.

It was a 250ml bottle of "Maple House" maple syrup. Needless to say, maple syrup is not something you often find on sale in Europe, and I have something of a sweet tooth, so I'm quite keen to try it. It looks delicious.

It's been in my kitchen now for about a month, and today I thought I really needed to open it, certainly before the kindly and thoroughly nice woman returns to Berlin and says something potentially embarrassing like, "Did you enjoy the maple syrup?" But can I get it open?

It has a red plastic twist-off cap with a seal of the sort that's supposed to break when you twist the cap. Except that the cap won't budge. I have burn marks on my hand (incidentally, Van, you should have some tips about that sort of ailment) and even tried using my teeth -- that just dented the cap, and I had to give up before I dented my teeth.

So, my question to the Canadians on board here: How the devil do you open Maple House Pure Maple Syrup? Is TNT involved, or can I buy some sort of industrial strength maple syrup bottle-opener?
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Old 12-23-2002, 03:04 AM   #2
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tsk tsk...you mean are terrible at opening jars and such...I would probably have no trouble twisting if off...the teeth thing was a bad idea, by the way

I can only recommend the usual things...try holding the cap under some running hot water for a couple of minutes first...then maybe using something that grips like rubber to open it...I have a square of this rubbery plastic material that is especially used for opening "stuck" jar lids and such

and if all that fails, then ask a woman to open it for you
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Old 12-23-2002, 03:12 AM   #3
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try what Tiger said, the only other advice I would have is to take something... I usually use the non-business end of a spoon... and tap it gently around the cap.... the sides, not the top, and be careful not to dent it sometimes that breaks things loose a bit...... of course, I'm not canadian, and have never seen those bottles... but these are just your general "I can't get the dumb bottle open" tips for ya. good luck!
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Old 12-23-2002, 03:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tiger Belle
the teeth thing was a bad idea, by the way
What did you expect? You're talking to a guy who likes to coat his hands in burning wax.
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:38 AM   #5
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Not knowing the product, is it a flat red plastic cap with what appears to be a band around the bottom?

If so, you have to peel off the plastic band before the cap will even budge. You should see a tab on the cap that is raised slightly away from the cap itself. Grab that tab and peel the band off. The cap shoud then easily unscrew. They've put that kind of cap on milk containers and some other bottles here in Canada, but I can't see it being on a syrup bottle.

If I could see the cap, I could probably give more advice.
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by CJSTora
Not knowing the product, is it a flat red plastic cap with what appears to be a band around the bottom?

If so, you have to peel off the plastic band before the cap will even budge. You should see a tab on the cap that is raised slightly away from the cap itself. Grab that tab and peel the band off. The cap shoud then easily unscrew. They've put that kind of cap on milk containers and some other bottles here in Canada, but I can't see it being on a syrup bottle.

If I could see the cap, I could probably give more advice.
That is how the Canadian Maple syrup bottle I had opened.

You wouldn't believe how much I hate real and fake store bought maple syrup. I won't even touch the bottle. If I even smell it I want to puke.
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CJSTora
Not knowing the product, is it a flat red plastic cap with what appears to be a band around the bottom?
Yup.
Quote:
You should see a tab on the cap that is raised slightly away from the cap itself.
Nope. I looked for that, too, because (surprise, surprise) we have them Europe, too. But it's one of those that you're supposed to unscrew and the seal breaks as you do so.

Anyway, I finally got it open with the hot water trick and a fair amount of brute force, just as I was beginning to think that maple syrup was a Canadian state secret ("Bond, I want you to try and infiltrate this bottle of maple syrup..."). Not being sophisticated enough to tell whether this is, in fact, the real thing as it claims on the bottle or the synthetic yuck Relo won't touch, all I can say is that it does taste extremely pleasant.

Now all I have to do is to find some recipes which feature maple syrup.
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Martin: There's a civil war in Mali, so Timbuktu's closed to all air traffic.
Carolyn: Right, so you can't solve it. Douglas, can you solve it?

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Old 12-23-2002, 01:36 PM   #8
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Run it under very hot water, from the tap. It should turn the crystalized syrup back to a liquid. Then take a pair of slip joint pliars and carefully take a turn, being carefully not to squeeze tight enought to break the glass.

If it is plastic, cut it open and pour it off into another container.

While letting the water run on it, keep an eye that the water is not getting in.
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Old 12-23-2002, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by rewboss
Now all I have to do is to find some recipes which feature maple syrup.
Fill yer boots:

http://www.canadianmoose.com/recipes/maplesyrup.htm

Although the best way to use maple syrup is drizzled over fresh pancakes or waffles .... Mmmmmmmm
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Old 12-23-2002, 04:26 PM   #10
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Be prepared to go through that every time you open and use the bottle. The syrup gets a little gunked up at the top and essentially glues the bottle back shut. I went through the 'burn' the other day trying to open our bottle.
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Old 12-23-2002, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by CJSTora


Fill yer boots:

http://www.canadianmoose.com/recipes/maplesyrup.htm

Although the best way to use maple syrup is drizzled over fresh pancakes or waffles .... Mmmmmmmm
With melted butter!!!


YUMMY!
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:51 PM   #12
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guys, stop it! I would *love* some hot homemade pancakes right now...with melted butter...and plenty of warm syrup...what a perfect supper that would make tonight

rew, I am glad you got the bottle open, and I don't think there is any reason to assume the syrup is anything other than real maple syrup


Relo, I am surprised you so much dislike maple syrup...I visited a maple farm when I was in Vermont...I remember that there are several "grades" of maple syrup...going from a very light to a very dark shade of syrup...each grade has a different taste, so perhaps you haven't found a grade yet which appeals to you
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tiger Belle


Relo, I am surprised you so much dislike maple syrup...I visited a maple farm when I was in Vermont...I remember that there are several "grades" of maple syrup...going from a very light to a very dark shade of syrup...each grade has a different taste, so perhaps you haven't found a grade yet which appeals to you
Yep, I hate the stuff. Franky and my husband love it. Maple syrup is a big market around here. Chardon Ohio has a huge maple festivle each spring. Just about every maple tree in Chardon has a tap. They cook the sap right in the town square. ICK! I go only for the french fries. Its usually butt ass cold then. I think its just a bit after easter.

Last year I think the price was $37 a gallon.
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:59 PM   #14
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...but I think the BEST use I've seen for maple syrup yet is

<drum roll please>

Maple Fudge
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:12 PM   #15
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I was going to suggest hacking the lid off with a machete.

But I had another, better idea. Just smash the top of the bottle off, leaving you with two valuable tools:

1/ A handy trap for ants in the summertime "watch them struggle"!

2/ A handy anti-burglar device. Just thrust the smashed end towards the burglar, even if he isn't put off by the sight of a person armed with such a fearsome weapon, he may be slightly allergic to ascetic acid, and therefore wouldn't want to be covered by angry ants.


Both ideas have been sabotaged by you managing to get the lid off.
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by CJSTora
...but I think the BEST use I've seen for maple syrup yet is

<drum roll please>

Maple Fudge

Bad Colin!!!


Now you have me thinking of maple candy too.
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:42 PM   #17
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I'm almost with Relo on this one. I hate maple stuff. I like the syrup on pancakes or waffles, but you all can keep your maple ham, maple fudge, maple candy, maple chocolate things that you think might be vanilla creme but then you bite into it and are surprised and real quick spit it into the trash before the kids see you wasting candy.....anything else maple. I don't even really like the smell of it.....
but it IS good on pancakes. yummy.

Relo... do you have to smell the stuff the whole time you are at the festival thingie?? *GAG*
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Old 12-24-2002, 06:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lily

Relo... do you have to smell the stuff the whole time you are at the festival thingie?? *GAG*
Only when you go near the sugar bush and the smell isn't that strong.

You can add maple bacon to your list. ICK! I cooked that once and my house stunk of maple.
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Old 12-24-2002, 07:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lollypop
he may be slightly allergic to ascetic acid, and therefore wouldn't want to be covered by angry ants.
You get ascetic acid from vinegar. The acid that ants spray is formic acid.

Pancakes and waffles? Sounds ideal. Maple fudge? Heaven. (I just wish I had the time and expertise to make fudge.)

Incidentally, according to the label, it's Grade 2, Amber. Is that good?

(Romesh's mother sent me a Christmas card. What a nice lady she is. )
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Old 12-24-2002, 09:09 AM   #20
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The Canadian maple syrup grading system has 5 grades:

Canada No 1 Extra light (AA)
Canada No 1 Light (A)
Canada No 1 Medium (B)
Canada No 2 Amber
Canada No 3 Dark

The more you boil the sap, the darker, thicker, and more concentrated the flavour becomes.

Table syrup for pancakes is typically Grade 1 A or Grade 1 B.

Imagine the grades as beer:

Grade 1 AA - Corona
Grade 1 A - a pale ale
Grade 1B - a nice amber ale
Grade 2 - a cream ale
Grade 3 - Guinness
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