The fall is a great time to find seasonal products in many grocery stores, but I find that Trader Joe’s tends to have some of the most fun and most delicious seasonal items out there. Those limited edition products are usually offered at very reasonable prices, so I’m always happy to branch out and try something new. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Infused Maple Syrup is a new addition that I spotted in the baking aisle along with their regular syrups on my last visit. This pure maple syrup is infused with vanilla beans, and has a piece of plump vanilla bean floating right in the bottle.
Maple syrup has a strong flavor on its own and it can actually be difficult to infuse it with other flavors without resorting to extracts or artificial flavorings. There are all kinds of maple syrups that are artificially enhanced to turn them into new flavors, but this pure Vermont syrup is infused only with real vanilla beans.
The maple syrup smells like vanilla when you open the bottle and really delivers a tremendous amount of vanilla flavor when you take a taste. It tastes like you drizzled a little bit of maple syrup on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream – that’s how much vanilla flavor you get from this syrup. The vanilla is creamy, balanced and supports the caramelized notes of the maple syrup well, so you will still taste the maple even though vanilla is a surprisingly dominant flavor here. As both a fan of vanilla and maple, I love this syrup and am very impressed with how much vanilla is in there. I’ll be picking up a few more bottles to keep in my pantry for later, as this seasonal item might not be around all year long.