Pancakes without maple syrup? A travesty for one Canadian

A grim breakfast in Scotland became Sasha Saunders’ defining patriotic moment

It's maple or nothing

Photograph by Andrew Tolson

I spent last summer working in Scotland at a boarding school. Each morning the staff members and I would sit down at a long cafeteria table to eat our usually very British breakfasts. On one particular morning it was a special occasion—special because there were pancakes (or what Canadians would recognize and refer to as pancakes). Excited by this surprise start to my day, I shovelled more than a few onto my plate and joined my colleagues. “I need the butter and I need the maple syrup!” I enthusiastically announced. Everyone at my end of the table stopped and looked up. “Here’s the butter, but we’ve only got your standard, run-of-the-mill honey or corn syrup.” I won’t lie. At that moment, as a Canadian abroad, this was a travesty. It never occurred to me that people in other countries eat their pancakes sans maple syrup. I can safely say that ever since that grim morning I have always gone a little heavier on the syrup when served pancakes or French toast. I remember my colleagues were all shocked by my extreme and evident dismay when I heard I’d have to eat my pancakes plain for the first time ever. I couldn’t quite explain it to them. It was just a Canadian moment.


Pancakes without maple syrup? A travesty for one Canadian

  1. Nothing like pouring that Aunt Jemima crap on your pancakes to cultivate an instant appreciation for real maple syrup.

    • What the hey, dude. Jemima’s my aunt. Why’d you have to slag on her?

  2. I come from Australia, and rest assured we eat (Canadian) Maple Syrup with our pancakes without fail!

  3. Excellent article Sasha!
    I, on the other hand, prefer pancakes with my maple syrup…………..

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