Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Life

The Source of That Mysterious Maple Syrup Smell: Israel

The source of a mysterious maple syrup-like odor, which wafted over the island of Manhattan on several occasions since 2005, appears to be the 76-year-old, Haifa-based company Frutaron, according to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The New York Times reports:

“The city revealed on Thursday that the culprit was the seeds of fenugreek, a cloverlike plant, which are used to produce fragrances at a factory across the Hudson River in North Bergen, N.J. It turned out that the city had never given up trying to determine the aroma’s origin. It had quietly created a crack maple-syrup team that remained on the case.

The North Bergen factory, owned by a company called Frutarom, used the herbal seeds to manufacture food flavors, releasing a pungent, generally pleasant smell in the process. Under the right weather conditions — high humidity, no rain — the aroma drifts across the Hudson onto the West Side of Manhattan.

‘I think it’s safe to say that the mystery of the maple syrup mist has been solved,’ Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a news conference at City Hall, cautioning that the city was still investigating several leads.”

Frutarom, “a flavor and fine ingredients company” was founded in 1933, originally under the name Frutarom Palestine Ltd. According to its Web site, “The company’s foundation was promoted by Professor Haim Weizman, the first President of the State of Israel and a known chemist,” the site states.

To see a gallery of photographs documenting Frutarom’s early days, click here.

Today, Frutarom is listed on the Tel Aviv and London stock exchanges.

The company apparently never caught wind of Mayor Bloomberg’s investigation and, according to the The Jersey Journal, issued the following statement:

“We have been made aware of the statements made by Mayor Bloomberg this morning regarding the source of the maple-syrup odors in [New York City]. The naming of our company as one of those potentially contributing to this condition came as a surprise to us.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.