What Is Golden Syrup?

Sporked has gone on record about the best maple syrup. And when it comes to a pancake topping, I cannot think of anything better than a heaping pour of maple syrup all over a short stack. But then I saw this thing called golden syrup and thought, “People like gold. Gold mean good?” I simply had to learn more. So, what is golden syrup? I did the research and distilled it into one, delicious article. Read on to find out more. 

What is golden syrup?

One look at golden syrup and it’s clear how it gets its name. The warm, welcoming amber color is reminiscent of a dragon’s hoard or a cool autumn sunset. How do you like that poetry?

In the U.K., golden syrup is called light treacle. It is a liquid form of sugar that is often used as a baking ingredient. Could you drizzle it on pancakes? Sure, but be warned: It is a lot thicker and sweeter than a traditional maple syrup, so a little goes a long way.

When we start wading into the vat of ooze that is syrup, we start to get stuck to different terminology. Golden syrup or light treacle is different from dark treacle, which is often referred to as the molasses of the U.K. They are all rather interchangeable in recipes like gingerbread cookies, they just provide slightly different flavor profiles.

Imagine a honey-colored rainbow that has maple syrup as the lightest band. As the bands get darker, their flavor gets more intense. Molasses is the darkest of them all, being sickly sweet and also somewhat bitter.

What is golden syrup made of?

Right off the bat, maple syrup tells you where it comes from; it’s the sap from a variety of species of maple trees. 

So, that must mean that golden syrup is made out of…gold? Sadly, no. Golden syrup is made either from refining sugar cane or beet juice. The sugars are combined with water, boiled, and form a thick substance that is akin in texture and color to honey.

Is corn syrup the same as golden syrup?

Similar to maple syrup, corn syrup lets you know where it comes from: corn. It’s corn, a big lump with knobs and it has the juice. None of us, collectively, can imagine a more beautiful thing.
Specifically, corn syrup is a syrup made from corn starch, rather than the sugar cane or beet juice source of golden syrup. It’s very common in the United States, where corn is king. Have you ever been to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota? I have and I can tell you…it’s corny. Thank you and goodnight!

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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