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I Just Realised What Lyle's Golden Syrup's Label Actually Shows, And I'm Horrified


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Pancake day after pancake day has rolled around, and jar after jar of sticky, amber Lyle’s golden syrup has passed through my hands.

It’s not that I ever ignored its packaging; I liked its forest green backing and brassy gold design.

But somehow, I managed to miss that the classic British branding shows, and has since its inception, a rotting lion corpse surrounded by bees.

In fact, only the news that the company was changing the logo revealed the grim fact to me (proof that you should just double down on your weirdest qualities; changing them draws too much attention to their oddities.)

Why a rotting bee lion?

You know, reader, it’s not an unreasonable question. But the answer is actually a bit easier to understand than you’d think.

The bee-ridden beast on the front of the jars refers to a Biblical riddle involving Samson (called, would you believe, Samson’s Riddle).

Samson ate honey from a lion’s corpse (the Old Testament is no joke, is it), then bet some men “thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing” that they could not solve the riddle he’d made up about it.

Lyle’s site revealed that Abram Lyle, the founder of the company, “had strong religious beliefs, which is why the tin’s famous logo depicts strongman Samson’s ‘lion and bees’ from the Bible’s Old Testament, registered as Lyle’s trademark.”

″‘Out of the strong came forth sweetness’, as the quote goes; where bees produce honey inside the lion’s carcass, rich syrup pours from the well-loved tin,” they continue.

“And the logo and design remain unchanged to this day (along with the delicious contents, of course).”

This is, as we know, set to change. Or, as Abram would probably put it, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here.”