5 Feb 2009 9:50 pm   //   Filed under: In the news, Stray data

Mayor: Maple syrup mystery solved!

Easily the best press release I have ever seen put out by the city government: MAYOR BLOOMBERG REVEALS SOURCES OF MYSTERIOUS BUT HARMLESS MAPLE SYRUP ODORS.

You may remember (or if you live here, you may have smelled) the delicious syrup smell that wafted over the city a few years ago, and a few times since. The city used weather data and the location of 311 calls reporting the smell to figure out where it came from. Answer? Jersey.

“City officials have identified a facility in Hudson County that has processed foenugreek seeds to produce flavors and fragrances that resulted in esters being formed in the air on dates when 311 has received a high number of sweet-smelling odor complaints in the City… ‘Given the evidence, I think it’s safe to say that the Great Maple Syrup Mystery has finally been solved,’ said Mayor Bloomberg.”

Gothamist has the map!