Does Maple Syrup Really Never Expire?

Mainly produced in Canada and the U.S. (via WorldAtlas), maple syrup is an incredibly popular sweetener. Whether it's drizzled on pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal, the ingredient is a mainstay in many North American kitchens. But let's be honest, how long have you been storing that bottle of maple syrup in the refrigerator? Many people believe that maple syrup never really expires, similar to honey. But while honey can still be edible after thousands of years, things aren't as simple when it comes to maple syrup.

Contrary to popular belief, maple syrup will eventually go bad, even if unopened or stored in the fridge. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an unopened bottle of genuine maple syrup should be okay stored in your pantry for about one year. Naturally, the next question is: How long can you store a bottle of maple syrup once it's been opened? 

Even when refrigerated, maple syrup will go bad

Once it's been opened, a bottle of genuine maple syrup really shouldn't be kept in the fridge for longer than a year (per the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Imitation maple syrup, meanwhile, can be kept in the pantry for one year, even if opened. But what if your favorite maple syrup starts getting moldy before those 365 days are up? Should you throw it away? Perhaps surprisingly to some, Moore's Maple says you can simply "remove the mold, heat the syrup to boiling, [and] skim the surface."

If you plan on keeping your bottle of maple syrup for longer than one year, then your best bet would be to store in the freezer (it won't freeze solid). As it turns out, it actually may taste better that way. According to Goodwin Maple, "pure maple syrup retains its flavor best when kept in the freezer."