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Product Review: Sainsbury's Golden Syrup (Partially Inverted Refiners Syrup)

Updated on August 4, 2012
Creative Commons Licence Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Creative Commons Licence Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) | Source

Sweet, sweet golden syrup, like droplets of the purest golden honey that's never been anywhere near a bee or a hive! Okay, it doesn't taste quite like honey: but it's a damn sight cheaper, and some people don't care for the extremely distinctive honey taste anyhow. The most popular and well-known brand in the United Kingdom is surely Tate & Lyle's distinctive green and gold tinned version: but most of the major supermarkets and a few smaller manufacturers also produce their own lines of the stuff.

But what is it, what is it good for and what are its health and nutritional properties? Surely, it's basically sugar, right? The label describes it as 81.8 grams of carbohydrate per one hundred grams, of which 81.8 grams are sugar. I'm pretty much taking that to mean sugar!

When I'm using it in baking then it has certain specific areas where it comes in very handy. Flapjacks and cookies are what I'm basically thinking of, and then as a tangential issue, toast, butter and golden syrup. (You can call that cooking. You can call it baking. You can. If you're really determined to make your point.) Its gunky, sticky quality is essential for really rich, short biscuits, and just try making flapjacks without it. (Clue: you can't. Unless you want to shell out for honey or agave syrup, oh hang on, WALLET SHOCK.)

I can't honestly think of any nutritional justification for the existence and use of golden syrup, of course. Oh, maybe if you were stuck in the wilderness and totally needed pure dense calories just in order to keep basic vital functions going? (Maybe flapjack bars would be great for this! Although I don't think flapjack bushes grow in the wilderness. Not last time I checked.)

what the heck, it definitely tastes good. In fact I would like some toast, butter and golden syrup right now. So what the hell am I doing here writing?


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