Ok, I may just be a ding dong.....but what do I look for when buying maple syrup?? Organic is a given, but I have rarely bought this stuff and there is so much out there. I want to get some today after work- Please help, with maybe some brand names that I can look for? I am in the Seattle area and shop at a local place called Central Market. Thanks so much!!
Hi Toni, So I just started doing the vegan thing, and am not sure about my answer, but I'm pretty sure that after it's "real" maple syrup and organic, the only differences are in the potency. That's probably the wrong term, but some are stronger than others because of water content. Maple syrup is basically boiled-down maple water, and my understanding is that the more water it has, the lighter the flavor and price. It probably doesn't matter much unless you're an afficionado. I life in the Seattle area too, and get the one they have at Trader Joe's, because it's affordable. Hope that helps! ~Teresa http://mynewveglife.blogspot.com/
Teresa- Thank you!!! I am in Kitsap County and there is no TJ here.....;( Big sad face. I looked at all they had to offer in my local health store and just got overwhelmed by all the choices!! Thanks again for your input!!
I go to Central Market in Poulsbo all the time :) They probably have it in bulk there so you can just buy a little at a time. I have to admit, I haven't bought it there, I buy it at my co-op in bulk and it's usually grade B, which I think is a little darker and stronger. It tastes great to me either way! They also sell 100% maple syrup at costco which is probably a good option if you want to get a lot of it. Just make sure it's 100%.
Grade B is a purer form of maple syrup. It usually costs more and has a darker coloring.
"The United States uses somewhat different grading standards. Maple syrup is divided into two major grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is further broken down into three subgrades: Light Amber (sometimes known as Fancy), Medium Amber, and Dark Amber. Grade B is darker than Grade A Dark Amber. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets uses a similar grading system of color and taste. The grade Vermont Fancy is similar in color and taste to U.S Grade A Light (Fancy). The Vermont grading system differs from the U.S. system in maintaining a slightly higher standard of product density. Vermont maple is boiled just a bit longer for a slightly thicker, denser product. The ratio of the volume of sap to the yielded volume of finished syrup is higher in the Vermont system. Maple syrup is sold by liquid volume, not weight. The Vermont graded product has one-half percent more solid material and less water in its composition. A non-table grade of syrup called commercial, or Grade C, is also produced. This is very dark, with a very strong flavor. Commercial maple syrup is generally used as a flavoring agent in other products."