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Jan 23, 2002 01:35 AM

In Praise of Marco Polo Fruit Syrups

  • d

These fruit syrups are the best thing to put into seltzer since .

And what a bargain. Giant bottles of raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, orange, black currant, sour cherry, and mixed fruit are enough to make 30 or 40 large drinks. Unlike most of the fancy syrups used in coffee bars and sold in gourmet stores, Marco Polo syrups contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors. Pour raspberry syrup and you're drinking nothing but raspberries and sugar. All of the flavors are fine, but I prefer the blackberry and sour cherry varieties (black currant is my least favorite).

I found the syrups at both Foodmart International and International Food Warehouse in New Jersey. These syrups are made in Slovenia.

Below is link to the distributor.


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  1. Wow. I wonder if you can get them in Toronto...

    1 Reply
    1. re: lissar

      Look in neighborhoods with Balkan immigrants, also sometimes in middle-eastern stores that have turkish products. I find them in lots of little ethnic groceries and produce markets here in Chicago.

    2. I am chiming in to tout a Chinese fruit syrup I have been enjoying, :^( but going to get the bottle I see that the only English on the bottle is the regulation nutrition fact sticker.

      I got the orange flavor and have really enjoyed it in selzer and as a sweetener for tea. Hmmm. The name seems to be only two characters so maybe I can go run it through a some translation software and report back with something more helpful than acknowledging that some Chinese people somewhere make some good stuff too. Do you think I can get any more vague?

      5 Replies
      1. re: wrayb

        You can TRY to be more vague, but I'm not sure you'll succeed!

        Where do you find it and what does the bottle look like?

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Here I go again. From one extreme to the other.

          In Elmhurst, Queens at the Hong Kong Chinese grocery, 83-02 45th Ave, just off Broadway. On December 31 they had a display shelf at the back end of the first row.

          Below is a picture of the bottle. The bottle is tall and thin, like a 1/2 liter olive oil bottle. They had 6 or more flavors. I have tried orange only and really like it.

          The picture will only be available for a couple of months so I apologize to anyone reading this in archive many months after this post.



          1. re: wrayb

            Great visual aid.

            I've got a bottle of another Chinese fruit syrup I like a lot (also purchased at the Elmhurst Hong Kong Grocery, I think, though maybe it was another one of those supermarkets on Broadway): kumquat!

            The shape of the bottle is identical (sorry I don't have the technology for a similar photographic presentation). It's called "jin jyu juice," and the label says, in smaller type, "The product is extracted from kumquats improved most recently....It is the best drink." Made by Sung Yi Agricultural Products, and contains nothing but kumquat juice and sugar.

            It is very, very good with seltzer and gin.

            1. re: Steven Stern

              Yes, there were a couple of brands at the Hong Kong Grocery and I would assume the new store in the old Key Food location on the corner or Kam Lun further out Broadway (8600 block?) carry similar products.

              Interesting. You got kumquat. After nearly selecting one or another flavor I decided to go for orange. Both citrus. I decided on the orange because, despite the label mentioning only fruit and sugar as ingrediants the very intense bright colors of the syrups made me suspicious about other added ingredients. I figured I would know what flavor to expect with orange and could best discern if there were too much "other" stuff in it. And, as I said before, although someone might come up with revelations about the "true" ingredients in these, for now I am happy with the clean and refreshing flavor.

              Hmmmm. What next.

            2. re: wrayb

              Thanks Wray (and Steven) for the tips. I have to get to that store ASAP!

        2. I found some Marco Polo apricots at Yaranush, the middle eastern (actually, restyled Armenian since 9/11) grocery store in White Plains, NY. I didn't notice the brand name until I got them home, so I don't know whether they carry the fruit syrups, but I know they generally carry syrups. I am pretty sure it is the same Marco Polo because they have the identical logo. So if you are in that neck of the woods and curious, you might check them out.

          Pat G.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pat Goldberg


            Thanks for the spot! I knew that Marco Polo made apricot preserves -- were these whole fruit? Apricots in cans and jars aren't commonly available in the U.S.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              They were either whole or halved. I bought two different brands and cannot check which is which, since I am not at home just now. But generally, Yaranush is a good place for fruits in jars. I use their sour cherries all the time - for clafoutis and crips, etc.

              Pat G.

              1. re: Pat Goldberg


                The reason I was particularly interested in this subject is that I once inquired of two of the largest marketers of canned fruit why there were no canned nectarines or apricots. They responded alike: "No demand."

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  I don't recall nectarines, but Yaranush carries, as I indicated, two kinds of apricots. Also (at least) sour cherries and plums. All pretty good.

                  They also carry the best tomato paste I have ever had. The brand is Turtamek. Unfortunately, it comes in largish cans, but it keeps pretty well and I would think could be easily frozem, were I not so lazy.

                  Pat G.

          2. FWIW, Marco Polo seems to be an importer of various (usually inexpensive) foodstuffs which mostly seem to originate in Eastern Europe. I recall seeing several of their products at the food side of the National Wholesale Liquidators in Lodi, NJ (see Jim's "Most Amazing Food Store" thread). Fruit jam filled cookies and bottled roast red pepper spread were ones I could remember...

            Joe Moryl

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joe Moryl

              Right on all counts, Joe. Marco Polo products are carried by the Lodi Store and Foodmart International in Jersey City. Below find the link to a display of Marco Polo products imported by Adria.