Mystery of Strange Maple Syrup Odor in NYC Finally Solved

1166870Our long National nightmare is finally over.  It’s taken 3 1/2 years, hundreds of thousands of man hours, hundreds of millions of dollars and an unwaivering passion for truth but Mayor Bloomberg and NYC have finally figured out just what in the hell that strange maple syrup smell is that seems to overtake the city randomly and without warning.

I wrote a blog post when I first encountered the sweet mapley syrup aroma wafting through Brooklyn.  That was way back in 2005.

It’s happened a few more times since then, but no one has ever been able to identify what was causing or even where the smell was coming from.

Until now:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that a team of odor investigators “put our noses to the ground” to identify the culprit after another whiff in early January.

The investigation involved mapping the time and place of all the odor complaints to the city’s 311 hot line, which were then compared with wind and atmospheric conditions.

Those were checked against air sampling tests during the periods that New Yorkers reported smelling the odor.

Bloomberg said the odor has only been detected by New Yorkers a small number of times because the conditions apparently had to be quite specific.

“You have to have a day with winds at the right speed, going in the right direction, and high humidity, but no rain,” he said.

The probe found that one facility in Hudson County was processing fenugreek seeds on the evening of Jan. 29, when multiple odor complaints came in.

New Jersey and city officials say the facility, operated by a company called Frutarom, does not appear to be violating any rules or regulations. “We are officially closing the case,” Bloomberg said.

Fenugreek is a common ingredient in curry powders, and its extract is also used in artificial vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and maple flavorings.



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