Grocery stores sell pancake syrup and maple syrup alongside one another, but they are actually very different products. Americans spend over $450 million each year on these syrups, but most people opt for the imitation pancake syrup instead of pure maple syrup.
Pure maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, which is then boiled down to get rid of some of the water and concentrate its flavor and sweetness. Pancake syrup is usually made from high-fructose corn syrup and flavorings such as butterscotch, caramel and vanilla to make it taste more like maple syrup.
Pancake syrup costs as little as 14 cents per oz., according to "Cooks Illustrated" Magazine online. In contrast, pure maple syrup can cost $1 per oz. or more, depending on its quality.
Pure maple syrup is graded based on its color, with Grade A syrups having a lighter color than Grade B syrups. However, many people prefer the stronger flavor of Grade B maple syrup, according to "Cooks Illustrated."