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#1 of 9 Old 01-11-2007, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Educate me on maple syrup and where to get it. What kind is best for what use? Only kinds I've ever seen is Dark or Amber and really expensive at the grocery store - $5 for 8oz. We can go through that in a week. Would love to find a better source.

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#2 of 9 Old 01-11-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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A friend of mine gets quarts (I think) at Costco for pretty cheap ($6-7 I think). I get the same container at the hfs for about $10. There was a post about how it needed to be organic or else formaldahyde was used in the process but I think someone who lives on a syrup farm (?) in Canada said that it was illegal there. That's about all the not-so-helpful info I have
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#3 of 9 Old 01-12-2007, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Man the stuff at my grocery store is really expensive then!

Thanks for the info, I don't have a Costc, but I do have a HFS. Will look again.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-12-2007, 12:09 AM
 
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Grade B is the one you want- it has the all minerals still while Grade A is more processed and so has very little. I get mine at Trader Joe's...$7.99 for 25oz....if you have Trader Joe's.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-12-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolelynn View Post
Grade B is the one you want- it has the all minerals still while Grade A is more processed and so has very little. I get mine at Trader Joe's...$7.99 for 25oz....if you have Trader Joe's.
I also get the Grade B and buy mine at Trader Joe's. They carry a couple of different brands of the Grade B there and are very reasonably priced. Once you get used to the Grade B, the Grade A seems much more bland and just sugary.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-12-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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Actually Grade A and Grade B are processed equally (ie the sap is cooked in the same way for the same amount of time, then filtered, then canned) - lighter syrup such as Grad A is made at the beginning of the season while the darker syrups and Grade B are made at the end of the season. The difference is only in the composition of the sap used. Towards the end of the season there are more sugars and minerals in the sap as the trees are really gearing up to start making leaves. Grade A is better as a condiment - it ranges from light to dark, light is nice for things like ice cream or in tea, while medium or dark is good on pancakes and waffles where you really want to be able to taste the maple flavor. Grade B is best for use in baking.

IMO the best place to get maple syrup is either directly from the producer at the sugar house (which would be a really fun "fieldtrip" for kids btw) or from a farmstand or market carrying locally made products. If you get a bottle that has a little label stuck on it naming the farm, you can be confident that that producer is a small farmer and is not using formaldehyde in the processing (I never even heard of this until lately, and when I asked my dad about it he was totally disgusted). The chances are good this will be a fresher syrup as well. My co op sells it in bulk, which is another way to save a bit.

With maple syrup you get what you pay for, really. I know it seems expensive but when my family sugared we only broke even, we never actually made any money. We did it for fun and to be able to share with friends and family. It takes a lot of time and man power for small producers to make syrup, hence the price- kind of like the way organic produce can be more expensive. There may be exceptions to this, but if you are getting it "cheap" at Costco or Trader Joe's than it may very well have been treated with something, and it probably spent a few years in a barrel in a warehouse somewhere before being bottled. Not that it won't still be ok, but unlike wine, maple syrup is best fresh.

Also, if you plan to start using maple syrup in baking know that it is more acidic than cane sugars and that you will have to adjust your recipes slightly. You add some baking soda, reduce the amount of liquid, and reduce the heat. I've seen several different directions for adjustments so you will have to look around a bit.

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#7 of 9 Old 01-12-2007, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info. The stuff I was getting was definitely one of those 'been in a warehouse for months' types of things. Sometimes you could find crystals in the bottom of the bottles - that tells me that it's been there too long.

I'll have to ask around - I'm not sure that there are independent producers in this area (Columbia, MO) but never know. I've found all sorts of interesting things at the farmer's market. (Is it March, yet???) I don't mind paying more for something that's worth it, and especially if it supports small producers.

Thanks for the baking info too, that I'll have to remember.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-13-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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The formaldehyde is actually used to keep the holes in the tree open so the sap can flow freely, as far as I know. It is illegal to have residues over a certain amount in the syrup in both Canada and the US, but that doesn't mean people don't go over. I think your only safe bet is to buy organic or something that specifically says formaldehyde free. Although even that may allow some tiny bit of formaldehyde.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-14-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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Trader Joe's have a nice selection Just remember make sure is 100% maple syrup Grade A is actually sweeter and used more for pancakes and waffles fruit salads cereals you get the picture right? Grade B is less sweeter more taste of maple and used for the same as above too, but use for cooking more. So ask yourself will I be using it for cooking or pancakes?
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