Ingredient Intelligence

Solving a Mystery: Why Do Maple Syrup Containers Have Tiny Handles?

published Jun 25, 2012
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We’ve all seen them — those tiny handles on maple syrup jars. They’re too small to be functional, so what are they doing there? I know, I know … this question has been keeping you up at night, so I am about to put your mind to rest!

According to Brooklyn Brainery, who asked themselves the same question, those tiny handles are remnants from a time when maple syrup jars came in large five-pound earthenware containers, when the handles clearly served essential functional roles. But over the years, due to the fact that we associate that container shape with maple syrup, the handles have been retained as a design element in the shrunken version we now buy, even though they don’t serve any real function. In fact, maple syrup handles are a classic example of a skeuomorph,a “retained but no longer functional stylistic feature.”

So now you know! And admit it: You’re going to thank me later when this question comes up at Trivia Night!

Read More: Why Do Maple Syrup Containers Have Tiny Handles? at Brooklyn Brainery