Thursday, September 20, 2007

Food Logic Volume 5: Coffee + Maple Syrup

Premise 1: Pancakes go good with maple syrup.
Premise 2: Pancakes are a breakfast food.
Premise 3: Coffee is a breakfast food.

Conclusion: Coffee goes good with maple syrup.

OK I'm serious about this one. Sure, Starbucks and Second Cup have offered Maple Lattes before, but those use sugary fake syrup. Similarly, Aunt Jemima's maple-tinted racist-stereotype-recommended corn syrup goo will not do either. You need good old real Canadian maple syrup. Yes, the kind that costs $10.00 per bottle. Luckily you only need a tablespoon or so. Add extra sugar if you are so inclined, a bit of cream, and you're in maple heaven. It's like sucking the gunk straight from the maple tree, except with coffee. Mmmmm.

See also: Food Logic Volume 4 (Coffee + Cheese)

And stay tuned for the next installment, where I take this reasoning to the next level. Here is a sneak preview:

--> Coffee goes good with maple syrup.
--> Maple syrup goes good with bacon.


Update: My friend Nick sent me the following email pointing out that my logic was not as explicit as it should have been.

Hey dude. I got lazy and checked your blog. I read an entry devoted to your latest recipe, coffee plus maple syrup. I don't remember much of philosophy 222 (that logic course we both took, but at different times), but I think I've managed to properly symbolize your argument. Here it is...

A = pancake
B = thing that complements maple syrup
C = breakfast food
D = coffee

1. All A's are B's.
2. All A's are C's.
3. All D's are C's.

C: All D's are B's.

So, does that work? I don't see it...



P.S. Did you actually try mixing cheese into your coffee? Ech. I don't even drink coffee or eat cheese, but, ech.

And here is my response:

My gosh, you're right! Perhaps I imagined the delicious taste I experienced this morning.

Hmmm, no, that can't be. Maybe I can fix the logic by symbolizing it differently or adding in hidden premises.

I suppose the main hidden assumption throughout the food logic series is the following premise, which is true of all foods:

P1. If (X goes with Y AND Y goes with Z), then X goes with Z.

Add this to the installments before today's, substitute the foods for X, Y, and Z, and it's sound logic.

Today's is a bit different. We want to add categories in there; in this case, breakfast foods. But let's stick with conditional logic for a while so we can use P1.

To formalize today's food discovery:

X = Maple syrup.
Y = Pancakes.
Z = All breakfast foods.

1. P1
2. X goes well with Y
3. Y goes well with Z

Conclusion: X goes well with Z.

The third premise was not explicit in my original formulation, but should be self evident to any food connoisseurs like myself. We're not done yet though! We now know without a doubt that maple syrup goes well with all breakfast foods.

Now we can introduce the categorization:

C = coffee
B = breakfast foods
M = things that go well with maple syrup

1. All Bs are Ms [this follows from the first conclusion]
2. C is a B.

Final Conclusion: C is an M.

So there you go. Coffee goes well with maple syrup. That's a FACT.

P.S. No, I never tried the cheese one. But given the irrefutable logic which has now been formalized, it cannot possibly taste bad unless you reject all logic and science.

P.S.S. I'm going to post this conversation on my blog to rectify my horrible logic mistake.

I am happy that this important issue has come to a peaceful conclusion. OR HAS IT??? Please let me know if there are any more flaws. My sense of taste depends on it.


Pavel Chekov said...

Mathematical calculations do NOT LIE! Excellent research.

Candice said...

I think the problem with this equation is that it should be stated that maple syrup not only goes well with pancakes, but that maple syrup must be poured on pancakes. Otherwise there's the possibility that maple syrup and coffee are awful together, and that if one is eating pancakes with coffee, they could leave off the syrup because of it. Which is obviously not the way things work.

Phronk said...

Thank you Checkov. It took years of scientific study to arrive at this conclusion.

Candice: While what you say is true, I don't think it's essential for the formulae presented here. Indeed, if coffee and maple syrup were awful together, it would put into question the whole argument, including the pancake-syrup connection. But luckily, they go wonderfully together. You're right that I could have made the statement stronger, though; it's most definitely true that pancakes require, and don't just go with, maple syrup. I usually go for a 1:1 ratio of syrup:pancake.

madamerouge said...

OMG that Aunt Jemima ad!

I'm not on board with cheese + coffee.

Butchie said...

Good old fashioned racism!

Aaron Caldwell said...

that was absolute heaven. i had some maple syrup out by my coffee and it struck me- why not put syrup in my coffee? so i googled "maple syrup in coffee" and your blog was the first result. thank you. it was excellent. coffee, a tablespoon of syrup and a little whole milk. if you happen to die soon, do so knowing you have contributed greatly to the world of coffee drinkers, and the world in general; your blogs are great.

Phronk said...

Haha, thank you very much sir! This is one of those experiments that I keep returning to. Delicious.

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