AKA Abraham Bacoln

Can’t go without
August 20, 2006, 1:08 pm
Filed under: tidbit

My all-time favorite

Originally uploaded by Kevin O’Mara.

The stuff pictured here has been a fixture in my life for as long as I can remember. For those four or so of you that don’t know, my father is the Waffle King and I am the Waffle Prince. He’s been making the best real waffles (read: non-Belgian) since I was a kid, typically on Saturday morning. It has progressed to the point that during the winters my parents host a series of waffle dinners because there are just too many folks that want to partake in those golden delicious treats.

The number one all-time most importantly perfect and necessary waffle topping is Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup. For the longest time as a kid I just assumed everyone kept bottles of this around their house, but the older I get the more I realize how scarce it is. I not only couldn’t find it in Portland, OR and New Orleans, LA, I couldn’t even find approximate substitutes. There’s just nothing like it.

For those of you who are gritting your teeth at the thought of molasses on a waffle, well, stop it. Roddenbery’s isn’t molasses. I’ve had to explain that countless times through the years. It’s ‘cane syrup’ which doesn’t have its own Wikipedia entry so I guess it bears further explanation. It’s partly the sugarcane extract they use to make molasses and partly normal syrup. The upside of this is that it’s a dense, thick, rich, intricately-flavored syrup – a tiny amount of the bite of molasses and none of the wussy wateriness of Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima’s.

Unfortunately not everyone that has consumed waffles with the Waffle King or Waffle Prince has come to realize the greatness of Roddenbery’s. I realize it must be an acquired taste but it’s hard for me to remember since I started using it at such a young age. In fact, I think I drank Roddenbery’s out of my baby bottle instead of formula.

Today I sat down to a waffle breakfast and picked up a brand new bottle and was suddenly struck by how important it was to me. I could tell anyone what brand of waffle maker to buy to make good waffles (Black & Decker), I could give anyone the O’Mara Waffle Recipe … but until you buy some Roddenbery’s then you’re not really doing it right. I love the shape of the bottle, the squat little rectangle. I love the label that hasn’t ever changed, as far as I know, I love the deep blue and the bright red border. I love that thick slow pour, I love that first bite, and I had just never realized how important it was to me.

It’s impossible to find Roddenbery’s in most places, and it’s getting damn hard to find it here. I need to start ordering it direct from the factory and sending thank-you notes while I do so. These people need to know how important it is to me.

And so, apparently, do you.

54 Comments so far
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So where do you get it here?

Comment by Trey

Well, there’s always Sorghum if you run out :/

Comment by henry

I second Trey’s q. Where do you get it?

I’m gonna have to get me some because I’ve been making waffles a LOT lately. But it’s gonna be hard to get me to switch from pure maple syrup.

Comment by Jason J

I’m not doubting the cane syrup, but I might have to disagree with the title claimed by your father. You see, he can’t be the Waffle King because Jason is the MF Waffle King. His waffles are the most superb waffles in the universe. Ever. Our waffles can beat up your waffles any day of the week.

Comment by Stacie

Well there’s only one way to solve this. And by one way I mean a cook off. And by cook off I mean feeding heather waffles. Because if there is a title for waffle eating queen, she has the badge plus 4 stars.

Comment by Henry

Stacie, Stacie, Stacie. We’re all entitled to our opinions, except in this case yours is wrong.

Why don’t you give me a call when your so-called ‘king’ can operate three waffle irons at once without burning a batch, and when he’s so popular that he has to buy a new table to seat all the guests clamoring to attend his legendary waffle dinners. Maybe when his waffles are so renowned that he has to cook the sausage and bacon accompaniments on the grill outside because there’s not enough space in the kitchen … maybe then we’ll talk.

And by then? By then the title will have passed down and I will be Waffle Prince no more. Then he will have to come see ME.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

waffles are good

Comment by DoubleT

Um. How is it that I can get into some sort of rivalry without any action on my part?

I just like making waffles. (But thank you for your confidence in me, Stacie.)

Comment by Jason J

So…where? I’ve checked every so-called grocery store in my town.

Comment by Rebecca

Well, Rebecca, as I was telling Trey tonight – I’ve had trouble finding it locally. Used to be one could pick it up at Bi-Lo but no more. Mom checked the producer’s site and apparently they’ve been bought out. More research is necessary to find out if it’s going to disappear from my life.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

Kevin, I HAVE to find Roddenbery’s Cane Patch syrup. This is my Dad’s favorite thing in the whole world and he is so depressed he can’t find it anymore. Have you found any recently?

Comment by Jennifer Russell

Jennifer, sorry. Haven’t been able to find it ANYWHERE.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

Apparently you can purchase it online here by the case. (http://www.specsonline.com/cgi-bin/snf?body=/cgi-bin/prodlist&index=Foods%7C447%7CJAMS,JELLIES,SYRUPS)

Just avoiding real work…

Comment by Christy

How very odd. My parents and I all three searched for hours trying to find that product online, and you come up with a link so quickly. Well, I shall have to give them a call and make sure they’re not lying.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

This calls for a Waffle-off!

Comment by Trey

I have a small grocery store in st.paul, Mn. I like to purchase roddenbery’s cane patch syrup. I have no Ideal where to get them. If you have product for me to buy or any information please let me know. thank you

Comment by long Xiong

After weeks of going around in circles, trying to find out where Roddenbery’s had gone, I managed to find a little stash at Spec’s in Houston, TX. When the bottles I purchased arrived here we found out that Roddenbery’s either had not been purchased by Dean Foods (as previously thought) or had been handed off again. Regardless, it appears that it is now available through Bay Valley Foods. I have not yet tried to buy directly from them, but there will certainly be attempts in the future when my stock runs low.

And the world rejoiced.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

THANKYOU!!! I just became aquainted with Roddenbery’s CANE PATCH SYRUP and it’s wonderful! I picked up a 19 oz. botle just last week in Florida and am kicking myself for not buying more! I’m obliged to give my 19 oz to a co-worker who had expressed interest in obtaining some Sorghum (not Molassas) and this is as close as I could find. I bought it for myself but I’m offering it to my friend. Can you advise if any way in Chicago area I can find this product? Thanks a bunch!

Comment by B. Holt

Cannot agree more–except that Cane Patch is a bunch better on buttermilk pancakes than on waffles; been doing this in my family for nearly a century, near as I can ascertain, generation after generation. I buy it in Lowcountry South Carolina by the case when I visit my in-laws; but recently I found it also in a little country store in Efland, NC! Order it on eBay if you must, or wherever; it is good stuff.

Comment by L. Beacham

The Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup was originally produced in Cairo (pronouned “KARO”) Georgia from I beleive the 1930’s to 1960’s. It was called Cairo Cane Syrup. Roddenbery bought them out and still has their name on it. You can buy it at the Piggly Wiggly in South Georgia or at Harvey’s in Albany, Georgia. My sister-in-law is bringing me some this month from Thomasville, Ga.

Comment by Tony

I was raised in Cairo, GA. Roddenberry’s has been a fixture my entire life. When I go home, I still buy a case to bring back to AR with me along with some grits, and white cornmeal!

The VERY best way to eat Cane Patch Syrup is to get a HOT biscuit right after coming out of the oven. Poke a hole in one end (about mid-way through)and slowly pour the syrup in the hole. The biscuit will soak up the syrup. PURE HEAVEN..Got to go cook biscuits now….

Comment by Melanie

This morning over pancakes, I compared labels on two bottles of Cane Patch, one an older bottle from Dean Foods days, the other from the Bay Valley operation. It is informative and disturbing, folks! The total carbs have gone down, from 59 to 47 grams per serving; but the ingredients are the real problem: Whereas Dean’s product lists “cane sugar syrup, cane syrup” as the only two sugar sources, Bay Valley lists “invert sugar syrup, cane syrup, water”! I know what this means–they are using less of the expensive cane syrup, more generic sugar–and adding water to the product to boot; no wonder when I hold the bottles up to the light, I can readily see the Bay product is lighter in color.
Somebody tell the Bay Valley folks, nobody buys Cane Patch syrup because it’s cheap, but because it’s unique. Don’t change the recipe, please!

Comment by Lowrie Beacham

shopfoodex.com has it available!

Comment by Greg

Your right!!! There is absolutely NO substitute for Roddenberry’s Cane Patch Syrup.
I grew up with it too in south Texas and at that time it came in round cans with a press fit top.
Back then it was plentiful. One could buy it at almost any grocery store. I think it was made somewhere in Jeorgia then.
I took it for granted that it would always be available. I was wrong. Here in Virginia it can’t be bought anywhere. I’m not sure if it’s still availabe in my home state of Texas anymore.
Your right about the hot biscuits with Cane Patch.
I like hot bread fresh out or the oven too.
As far as the label it is basicaly the same as it always has been except on the picture there used to be a negro man cutting cane. Now it’s a white man.

Comment by Shorty

You can get Cane patch at ShopFoodEx.com

Comment by Shorty

I too grew up on Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup. I want eat anything else. Every time I go home to Sumter, SC, I bring back a case to Texas. My Mom has mailed this syrup all over the world to me and my brother. We were both in the Air Force. She’d send us cases to Japan, Korea, Alaska, etc. Long time ago, you could buy it in a restaurant in Texas call PoFolks. But they have closed down now. I also saw it online for $5.69 per 19oz bottle. I thought that was way to expensive. You can buy it at Piggly Wiggly or Food Lion for approx. $2.69 per bottle. I’ll keep serching or maybe just have my brother send me a case. I’m down to a bottle and a half.

Comment by Rodney

I grew up on Cane Patch Syrup. Years ago when I was young the name was, “N***er In De Cane Patch”. They used the N word in the name. Sometime in the early 60s the name was changed to just Cane Patch. The syrup of today is not the same as it was years ago. Today is seems to be more waterery. I still buy it at Kroger though.

Comment by Coffe Drinker

The folks at ShopFoodEx explained that it was more expesnive due to the heavy shipping weight and that each bottle, because of the tempered glass (???), weighs 3 lbs. I can see their point I guess.

Comment by Elliott

I do not care who’s in the cane patch (Black man or White Man), I love the syrup. It’s true the formula change has made the taste less intense it
remains my favorite syrup. I occasionly infuse a small portion of Old Plantation@Molasses (the sister product) to the syrup to increase favor.

Since relocating from Florida (1960) to the North East (NJ), I buy several cases at a time whenever I return home to Fla. The Yankees here laugh at me, when they learn of my desire for this syrup, but once they tried it with waffles, pancakes, and biscuits they were hooked and cannot get enough. Now I laugh at them when they visit and beg for a bottle.

PS: Roddenberry Old Plantion Molasses is also fine
product. Give it a try.

Comment by Richard C

[…] Brother O’Mara roused himself a short while later to make waffles which, in the Brother O’Mara family, are a big deal. His father is the Waffle King of his hometown, making Brother O’Mara the Waffle Crown Prince, and they both definitely deserve the title. I can say they’re the best waffles I’ve ever eaten, and Cap’n Will enjoyed them as well. I can tell you that the base is Bisquick, but I believe there are some special tweaks to the recipe that give those suckers the most delightful taste and aroma. He also serves them with an array of accoutrements–butter and maple syrup of course, but also honey and Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup, a Brother O’Mara family tradition. […]

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I came across your entry on ALL the greatness that is this syrup. I grew up in Lake City, South Carolina, now I live in Palm Beach Florida! For the past 15 years…and I must agree there is nothing in the WORLD like this syrup…You definately know your stuff! I’ve asked the manager of the local publix to order some…people have to know about this stuff! My mom use to make something called, “fry bread,” and we ate this stuff up! This syrup is fromt he heavens! Thanks for your article…I truly enjoy reading it!

Comment by Kim

Oh Yeah! I grew up on cane patch syrup also. It is delish on homemade biscuits. Once when Grampa, ran out of table sugar, he sweetened our iced tea with it. Good golly that was some good tea! Preservation of all the good things we grew up on is a must. Don’t change the formula (like coke did), but stay true to original. Oldies are Goldies, just like cane patch.

Comment by Joe

Kevin, you are so right. It really is the best syrup ever! The only place I’ve been able to find it is in a small grocery store in Pine Hill, Alabama.

Just to give an example of how important this stuff is to me . . . . when my husband and I moved to Minnesota, we couldn’t find it, so I decided to have my grandparents ship me some from their town. I hadn’t even gotten a taste of it, when hubby, in all his clumsiness, dropped the bottle on the floor and it shattered. He got blasted out, then I cried, then he got the silent treatment the rest of the night. And don’t you know, as I sat there looking at the syrup and shattered glass on the floor, I contemplated for at least 60 seconds on how I could save it . . . considered licking it up (LOL), but the glass scared me. LOL

Comment by KayT

Please tell me where to find Roddenberry’s Old Plantationo
molasses around Charleston, S. C. I can find the cane syrup but my cookie recipe needs molasses. Thanks.

Comment by Daris

i’m so glad to hear that there are fans of cane patch besides my family! i have one correction to the original story line from the top. the picture on the label has changed slightly since the original from the beginning. it originally was a black man in the cane patch and the picture was drawn by my great aunt. it was changed to a white man to move away from the stereotype of the black man in the field although they played a tremendous part in the farming of lands even after abolition. keep enjoying the syrup and maybe it will never go away!

Comment by gwyn

I have got to find this syrup. I live in Central Florida (Lady Lake) and I hope that someone can tell me where I can find this syrup…I don’t care how much or from where. We use to get it from Winn Dixie, but the supply has dried up. PLEASE..PLEASE..HELP ME Inez Clarke

Comment by Inez Clarke

here is a picture of origninal lable. Changed for good reasons but it is as was the best syrup ever produced

Comment by j rick

If you happen to re-read this forum–I married a girl from Lake City, SC! We dined many a time on BBQ at the Country Cousin in Scranton–they had this syrup on the table…

Comment by Lowrie

where can i find the cane patch here in florida? please help i need it for my chili recipe am running out…

Comment by anthony

I am another person trying to find Roddenbery’s Cane Syrup. It is really hard to find. I did find the 12 ounce bottle recently (May 4, 2010) at IGA food store near Tallahassee, FL (actually found in the community of Woodville just south of Tallahassee). The product cost $2.35 at the IGA Store for the 12 ounce bottle. Winn Dixie used to carry the syrup (19 ounce bottle) but I have checked there for nearly six months and they are always out. I am looking tonight (7-23-10) on the internet for the 19 ounce bottle but having no luck so far. I enjoyed reading the stories of others who like this syrup. So, I decided to add my comments. Using another syrup other that the Roddenbury’s is just disappointing. I have eaten the Roddenbury’s syrup all my life and I am old now. Real maple syrup is very good sometimes but too expensive. When a person wants some “real” syrup Roddenbury’s syrup cannot be beaten. I have heard some people say it is “strong” but maybe they grew up on imitation or sissy syrup and have not developed a taste for “real” syrup. So, if you have an IGA store near you it would be worth checking out. And, if anyone knows a web address for the 19 ounce bottles please let us know. I am going to look some more and if I find an address I’ll post it on this site. Thanks.

Comment by Carlton

Carlton, it looks to still be available at http://www.shopfoodex.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=cane+patch&x=0&y=0
Or just got to shopfoodex.com, and search for Cane Patch.

Comment by Lowrie

Hello, all. This stuff is awesome. I grew up in Sweet Water, AL, not far from Pine Hill, and there was a small grocery store that that sold it. It recently went of business. They had the bigger bottles, so I have been going through several on line vendors. My wife says that it is my cocaine because I am so addicted there is no limit to how much I would pay for it, as the price seems to go up each time I order some. I am without right now on a Sunday morning when I normally have it with biscuits, waffles, pancakes, etc. I actually think I put it on a sandwich…LOL. Enjoy!

Comment by Myron P

I would love to find out where this syrup can be purchased. I grew up eating this syrup. My Mother and Grandmother always had this syrup in the house. It use to be in a can, now its in a bottle & still delicious. I really hate substitute syrups. This is indeed the best syrup in the world.

Comment by Sherry

It’s still on the shelves of a little independent grocery here in Efland, NC, Sherry. How far are you from there? 😉

Comment by Lowrie

My family just emptied the last of a deans food manufactured Roddenberry cane patch… Then opened a new bottle…. It tasted bitter and was darker in color… After reading labels… The new bottle is by Bay Valley … Ingredient water? Cooking longer? Taste awful in comparison to Dean Foods! My 65 year old dads in tears! Help! It was given to him in his baby bottle!! Calling Deans and Bay Valley Monday morning.
My mom puts it in baked beans!

Comment by Cyn

Where can I buy Roddenberrys Cane Patch syrup in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

Comment by Judith Turner

Hello to all you seekers of Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup…well, I just bought a 12-ounce bottle of it at a Big Lots store in Pittsburgh, PA for two bucks. I didn’t even know what it was…just looked good. The information on the bottle indicates it’s made by Bay Valley Foods, http://www.bayvalleyfoods.com, 1-800-236-1119. I don’t know if the fact it’s being sold by an odd-lots store is bad news, but after reading the postings I can’t wait to try it. Except for the next to the last one, which wasn’t too encouraging. Hope it still is as good as it apparently used to be.

Comment by Deb


Roddenbery’s Cane Patch Syrup can also be purchase at a piggly wiggly, food lion, and maybe winn dixie if wd still carries it. westfoods in edison, ga also carries it; we’ve ordered from them about a year ago. Most of the Geogia and north florida pig wigs and wd’s still carry this syrup.

Comment by LaDelle

P. S. –

Piggly Wiggly list of GA, SC stores that carry this syrup:


Comment by LaDelle

Also try http://www.shopfoodex.com


Just called them. They have it on their website and they ship across the country.

GOD bless and keep you, always!!!

Comment by LaDelle

I grew up in Georgia and loved Cane Patch Syrup. It use to come in cans that looked like little paint cans. When I was a kid the name was Negro In The Cane Patch. Then it was just called Cane Patch. It is still good but it is not the same as when I was younger. The syrup pours out almost like water now when it use to be thicker. The Roddenberry family that makes Cane Patch are the same ones that make the famous Roddenberry Pickles. I wish they would make their syrup thicker like it use to be.

Comment by David B.

Sorry but my spell checker changed the spelling of Roddenbery to the wrong spelling. I’ll add that Dean Foods bought out Roddenbery in 1993 and closed the plant in South Georgia in 2002. The name is still on the syrup but it is not the same syrup. Take it from an old timer who remembers what the original Cane Patch Syrup was like. Dean Foods you should quit watering down the syrup. Until they do, I’ll get my syrup from a local that still has a small but real syrup mill.

Comment by David B.

The original syrup recipe was my grandfather’s personal recipe that was stolen from him according to family legend. I have been hearing about it ever since I was a little girl. I am hoping one of my aunts or uncles remembers or knows how to make the original recipe. I am a cook and would love to reproduce what my Grandpa originated. I have never tasted it and it sounds scrumptious. I hate watered down tasteless, bodiless corn sugar based syrups. I love sugar cane which we used to chew and suck on when we were little and I love the taste of real pure cane sugar and drinking sugar cane juice. So I can imagine this must be some good stuff. As for the original name of the product “Nigger In The Cane Field” syrup and the black man on the label. Well, Grandpa was black.

Comment by Paisley

I just bought a 12 Oz jar of Roddenberry’s Cane Patch
syrup at a local grocery store in Marion,Va. I grew up
in Georgia and loved Karo Cane Syrup. This is seriously
good stuff with pancakes and bacon.

Comment by George Hitchcock

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