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Today's Case

Yellow Label Syrup Sweetheart Pie

Re: Yellow Label Sweetheart Pie
From: rob
Date: 11/14/2021, 9:18 AM

On 11/13/2021 3:36 PM, rob wrote:

Greetings, Uncle Phaedrus! 
I hope you are doing well. I found an old jar of Yellow Label Syrup with the 
paper still on it. I remembered this syrup from my grandparents' house.  
The jar I found wasn't too old, though, because it had a website address on it: Whitfield Foods.
  The jar said this syrup was made in Montgomery, Alabama. But, it reminded me of the Golden Eagle Syrup made in Fayette, Alabama (Yellow label's ingredients are: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, honey, cane syrup). I wondered about substituting Golden Eagle Syrup for it (which I can get in my area) if I couldn't find the Yellow Label. Were these two companies connected, I wonder?  When you type in the above address, it will take you to another website - ALAGA, so it looks like this company has been bought out, and I'm guessing "ALAGA' stands for Alabama-Georgia (this syrup is on their website, though).  I will say this: try as I might, I could NOT find this recipe online! I've looked for it by name,  on the ALAGA syrup website, and even cutting/pasting the entire recipe into the search bar. So, I wanted to send that recipe to you.  It calls for 1 oz. of cream cheese. I don't know if that was a misprint (where it should have said "1 (8 0z) cream cheese") or if they really wanted just a smidgen of cream cheese. I would love to hear from any of your readers if anyone has ever made this pie concerning this amount of cream cheese.  Here is the recipe exactly as printed on the jar:  SWEETHEART PIE Baked 9” pie shell 1 oz. cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 3 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp. Vanilla Fresh Whole Strawberries 1/2 cup Yellow Label Syrup 1. Combine cream cheese and sugar. 2. Gradually stir in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour into shell. 3. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Cool 4. Arrange strawberries over top of pie. 5. Bring syrup to boil over high heat. Boil 6 minutes. 6. Pour syrup over strawberries and serve.                               Thank you. Sincerely, Rob

Hello Rob,

Let me see if I can sort this out a bit.

I could not find a recipe called "Sweetheart Pie" with the ingredients that you list. Strawberries and cream cheese apparently complement each other quite well, because there are a lot of recipes on the web for "Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie."  These recipes call for quite a lot of cream cheese, often 2 (8 oz) pkgs of it. Some of the recipes call for syrup, and some do not. I was not able to find such a recipe that called for Yellow Label Syrup or for Golden Eagle Syrup. Most often called for were simply "corn syrup" or "Karo". When I searched for any pie recipes calling for Yellow Label Syrup, I found only Southern Pecan Pie recipes.

Yellow Label Syrup and Golden Eagle Syrup and similar syrups are of a type that is often called "table syrup" in the Southern US, and Alabama is the source of many of them, due to sugar cane being an important crop there. I grew up in Mississippi, and I recall "table syrup", although in my family we mostly used either white Karo syrup, which is corn syrup, or sorghum molasses on our hot breakfast biscuits. Years ago, it wasn't easy to find maple syrup in the Deep South, so these other syrups supplanted it. "Table syrups" like Yellow Label and Golden Eagle were sort of a compromise. Not everyone liked sorghum molasses, which could be a bit bitter, or bland Karo. Table syrups are a blend of honey and cane and/or corn syrups. The honey gives them some color, as well as flavor, and the cane or corn syrups makes them sweeter. There were many different blends, but Yellow Label blended honey with cane syrup and corn syrup. Golden Eagle syrup also blended honey with cane syrup and corn syrup. There are some discrepancies in the ingredients of these syrups as listed on different websites, but I am going by photos of their actual labels. If there is a difference in the ingredients of these syrups, it must be in the ratios of honey/cane syrup/corn syrup. or in differences between the processes of the suppliers of these products to Yellow Label and Golden Eagle. See the label here: Golden Eagle Syrup
Perhaps there is a slight difference in taste, but each have their fans. There are other brands of table syrup. Always check the label ingredients. "Steen's" is pure cane syrup. It has no honey. "Karo", both light & dark, are corn syrup, also no honey. The British favorite, "Golden Syrup" is made from sugar cane or beet sugar. No honey. "Bre'r Rabbit" syrup is pure cane syrup or pure cane molasses. No honey.

Molasses is made by boiling down sugar cane juice or sorghum juice to thicken it and concentrate the flavor. It is boiled multiple times, and it gets stronger tasting, thicker, and darker in color with each boiling. Cane syrup in what you get from the first boiling, and subsequent boilings produce molasses.

So, Yellow Label Syrup and Golden Eagle Syrup are very similar, and you could use either one in your pie.

In 1906, the Alabama-Georgia (ALAGA) Syrup Company was established by the Whitfield family in Montgomery, AL. In 1923 Claude Bennett and Stacy Williams established Yellow Label Table Syrup on the West side of Birmingham, AL. Golden Eagle Syrup originated in 1928 and is in Fayette, AL. While all three of these syrup companies are in the same area of Alabama, they were separate companies until 1975, when ALAGA Whitfield bought Yellow Label. According to ALAGA Whitfield, their ALAGA Yellow Label syrup is the same as the original. However, there does not appear to be any connection between Yellow Label or ALAGA Whitfield and Golden Eagle.

As for the cream cheese, the Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie recipes that I find call for a lot more than 1 oz. Many call for 2 (8 oz) packages. I will post this for reader input, but that recipe does not appear on any of the Yellow Label syrup labels that I could find. Yours may be the only one remaining in existence with that recipe. If so, then there may not be anyone around who's familiar with that recipe. We'll give it a try, anyhow.


Thank you for this wealth of information! Yes, I am familiar with sorghum syrup 
because my father used to grow it and make it. We had the mill and everything. 
It was HARD work! He did not like Golden Eagle syrup because it was a mix of 
different syrups (unlike his pure sorghum). I, however, loved/love Golden Eagle/
Yellow Label syrups! I took a picture of the jar with the afore-mentioned recipe, 
and have attached it below. Thank you so much for what you do - you are very much 

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