Few foods are more uniquely American than maple syrup and its close cousins, maple sugar and maple honey. Though they are longstanding restaurant pantry staples, they’re not taken for granted. On the contrary: Maple regularly goes through cycles of innovation, and right now we’re in the middle of a round of reinvention in which chefs are creating cool, contemporary updates to the classic ingredient.
Take a look at how chains and other foodservice establishments across the country are using maple products in unexpected ways.
Einstein Bros. Bagels’ Maple Oatmeal Egg Sandwich
Maple is a natural at breakfast, with items such as the Maple Oatmeal Egg Sandwich that Einstein Bros. Bagels ran as a limited-time offer this past winter. It featured a
maple-and-brown-sugar oatmeal bagel topped with toasted rolled oats, streusel and brown sugar. The filling of bacon, eggs and a schmear made a tasty cold-weather warm up.
Red Lobster’s Maple-Glazed Salmon and Shrimp
The casual-dining seafood chain made use of maple during dinner, brightening a standard maple glaze with cherry in its Maple-Glazed Salmon and Shrimp. That same winning combination also enhances the chain’s wood-grilled chicken breast.
Baskin-Robbins’ French Toast ice cream with Maple Bread Pudding
The 59-year-old ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins keeps customers engaged with a steady stream of head-turning monthly specials that surprise, delight and push the flavor envelope. A case in point is last September’s Flavor of the Month, French Toast Ice Cream, that was combined with maple bread pudding — a clever mash-up that turned breakfast into dessert.
Brigham Young University’s Cougar Tail
Maple also adds a distinctive touch to snacks, such as at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where maple gives football fans something to cheer about. The signature Cougar Tail consists of multiple maple bars reshaped into an 18-inch tail under a luscious maple icing. Copyrighted and sold exclusively at BYU athletic events, its game-day buzz has gone viral, as townies regularly request the item for their own special occasions.
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