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Who knew that Log Cabin, Mrs Butterworth, etc, syrups do not contain actual maple syrup?

I didn't until last week. I knew that they contained mostly High Fructose Corn Syrup but I figured that it was blended with some actual maple syrup. But after reading the labels I found out that they only contain maple syyrup "flavor". Who knew?

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  1. I knew. And I still like Log Cabin on my frozen waffles. But I do like the real thing on freshly made pancakes and waffles.

    1. I grew up eating this stuff and remember the revelation of having real maple syrup for the first time on a vacation in New England. It's like the difference between the sun and a flourescent light bulb. Honestly, that stuff doesn't even taste *anything* like maple syrup.

      4 Replies
      1. re: oolah

        Ditto - grew up on Log Cabin; but also knew it wasn't real. But Mom wasn't going to spent beaucoup bucks on real when we drowned our waffles or pancakes. :-)

        When I moved out on my own and began buying real maple syrup, I never went back. oolah's description of sun vs. fluorescent light bulb is a perfect analogy between the two.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I laughed loudly when I read the sun/fluorescent bulb thing. I'm afraid I'm going to have to add that to my working vocabulary. Nice going, oolah.

        2. re: oolah

          My introduction to "real" maple syrup was very similar to yours. One taste and I was hooked and never looked back.

          1. re: CindyJ

            Also grew up on log cabin, but once a year we would get a small container of real maple syrup and sit down for a special family meal. Oh the difference is incredible! Just can't have the log cabin stuff in my house, but we don't go through a lot of syrup.

        3. I knew!! Real Maple Syrup or nothing as far as I'm concerned.

          1. I knew. But I find that Mrs. Butterworth is good for some things and maple syrup is good for others. I use more maple then the other stuff though.

            1. I guess this is what happen's when you become a 'chowhound', you start reading labels.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jackrugby

                One the ingredients used for imitation maple syrup is fenugreek. Odd, but true.

                1. re: Flocante

                  Not so odd when you consider that fenugreek tastes like maple syrup!

                  1. re: LT from LF

                    And if you take enough of it, you'll smell like it when you sweat!

                    1. re: irishnyc

                      humm... smelling like maple syrup, I can think of a lot worse options.

                      Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworth were not found on our table. Mom made simple syrup and added maple flavoring (no doubt full of fenugreek). And yeah, its kinda like instant coffee, so long as you think of it as a separate thing, its ok. But it is not the same as maple syrup.

              2. I thought it was pretty common knowledge. I can;t remember when the switch occured but it has to been double digit years ago.

                What's really funny is the BS that Pinnacle Foods has on their website:

                Brand History
                Log Cabin’s® strong heritage dates back to 1888, and is widely recognized as the "real" maple syrup everyone "grew up with."

                I guess the quotes are there at the request of the lawyers since the product is NOT real and it only was real when we grew up with it. For Jfood that was the 1960's.

                14 Replies
                1. re: jfood

                  That (quote) is odd. I mean, I've always known. Log Cabin, which indeed I grew up with, is pancake syrup, not maple syrup.

                  1. re: jfood

                    wow that's "appalling" and "hilarious"!

                    i am the daughter of a maple syrup maker, so butterworth's and log cabin were never around in my childhood, except in my friends' houses. kinda like velveeta-- you know the stuff isn't really the stuff it's supposed to represent, but it seems like everybody else was eating it when i was growing up. now that i'm grown, it seems like everybody is into the "real stuff" and they don't know where i'm coming from when i talk about MS being a seasonal flavor-- to be enjoyed in the early spring. we always had homemade preserves or chairback hung berry syrups by the time the real MS was gone, in late summer thru the fall and winter months.

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      Can I relive my childhood at your house?

                      1. re: rayneberry

                        oh trust me there were tradeoffs LOL!

                      2. re: soupkitten

                        OK, I'll bite. What are 'chairback hung berry syrups'? Are the berries dessicated before making syrup? Sounds interesting. Please illuminate us.

                        1. re: Leucadian

                          the very ripe fresh berries are put into a cloth bag that is hung up by one corner over a container and left overnight to smoosh out the syrup via gravity-- because the syrup "bleeds out' so slowly it's very pure and sweet (don't need to add any sugar most times) without the bitter taste that can come out when you crush or smash the berries by hand or mechanism. they used to call them chairback syrups because it was easy to rig the bag contraption over the back of a ladderback kitchen chair, with a bucket on the floor. of course, anyone in their right mind who has a pet or a little kid rigs the contraption over the kitchen sink nowadays. because of the relatively low yield of the method, i've never seen this syrup for sale commercially, but people who grow or forage large amounts of soft berries (raspberries in my area) sometimes still use up very ripe fruit in this way.

                          1. re: soupkitten

                            I absolutely love this idea. I'm going to have to give it a try if I ever find myself with lots of berries a bit past their prime.

                              1. re: macca

                                oh cool! was your g-ma from the boston area, or elsewhere? (i suppose this is common anywhere there are abundant brambleberries, or it was at one time)

                        2. re: jfood

                          Do you think that it used to contain some maple syrup? I know that thirty years or so ago, you could even find store brands that had four or five percent maple syrup. I used to buy those, thinking it was better than the stuff that had no maple syrup. What a silly young woman I was. I married a man with a Canadian family -- and the real stuff is truly one of the best things out there. I even love those maple cream candies that you can only buy north of the border (or so it seems).

                          1. re: RGC1982

                            Seems to me that once upon a long time ago (maybe 30-40 years ago) LC did contain somewhere between 3-5% real maple syrup.

                            As soon as I got out on my own, I started buying the real thing and never looked back. I'd sooner go without than consume the ersatz product.

                            1. re: mcsheridan

                              It wasn't quite that long ago, and it was 2%.

                              1. re: coll

                                Back about 30 years ago I checked the Log Cabin list of ingredients and, sure enough, it contained 2% real maple syrup. At the time, I couldn't figure out why they would bother putting in 2% real maple syrup because that obviously would not affect the flavor. Now I know: it allows them to label it as "maple flavored syrup" instead of "artificial maple-flavored syrup"!

                            2. re: RGC1982

                              Thanks R. Jfood thinks his use of the words "when the switch occured" answered that question last year. In his youth reading lable was not a competitive sport, getting our of the neighborhood alive was. Thankfully he reads them now and one of the little jfoods is even more a lable-reader.

                          2. I knew! I *love* real maple syrup. My mom stopped buying it when I was a kid after wondering why it was going so fast and then catching me doing shots of it after school. (and I wondered why I was a chunk as a child).

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: lbs

                              Some kids snuck cigarettes in the garage or the woods out back; you did shots of maple syrup. :-) I'm thinking I like your "bad habit" way better.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                LOL - I still can't keep a bottle in my house! I reserve pancakes with real maple syrup for vacations!

                              2. re: lbs

                                When I was a kid I would pour Log Cabin Syrup on a slice of white bread as a afternoon snack; no wonder I couldn't sit still.

                              3. I remember the first time I tried the real thing, and I thought it was totally disgusting! Watery and weird. It didn't have that syrupy viscosity that the fake stuff has. Now I love it. I also love that there is nutrtional value in something sweet! hahaha.

                                I can absolutely relate to someone traveling for business with their own syrup! You're stuck ordering room service breakfasts in hotels, and inevitably pancakes, waffles or French Toast looks the best of generally blah offerings, and all of the hotel kitchens send up those little Kraft maple syrup individual servings. Blech! Why is it they can get the jam right (usually tiny Bonne Maman) but they can't get the syrup right!? This could be a business plan for an industrious Chowhound: partnering with a real maple syrup company to market and sell individual serving packaged maple syrup.

                                This reminds me of an earlier thread where everyone was scandalized that there wasn't any (or hardly any) avocado in Kraft guacamole!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ballulah

                                  who knew? umm, everyone. but I have to admit, I grew up on this stuff, b/c it was so much cheaper than maple syrup and used to refuse maple when given the opportunity. I worked to acquire a taste for maple syrup, but still prefer raspberry or black currant jam on most breakfast stuff.

                                  1. re: ballulah

                                    re: the business trip thing, one of my close friends (from new Hampshire) always used to show up to breakfast at our college dining hall (in CA) with a bottle of real syrup in his pocket. The dining hall had good pancakes and waffles but he wasn't putting up with any of that fake sh*t.

                                  2. I knew.....about 35 years ago. My cousin in No. Wisconsin has been making his own for about 40 years and we usually bought a gallon every year when we visited. My Dad and I usually had it to ourselves because everyone else in the family preferred the fake stuff. I haven't bought fake maple syrup since college.

                                    1. I grew up on Log Cabin, but haven't had it in years...ever since I learned it was pretty much just corn syrup and coloring. My mom, however, swears that back in the 40s, Log Cabin was maple syrup...or at least a blend. Is Mom delusional, or did Log Cabin change over the years?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ricepad

                                        I believe it was real maple syrup through at least the 60's. Aunt Jemima gave it a run for its money. Then the new concept of mixing butter into the syrup arose with the introduction of Mrs Butterworth's (now owned by the same co. as Log Cabin).

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          http://www.pinnaclefoodscorp.com/publ...
                                          Was it pure maple, or just maple flavored back in 1887 when it was introduced by a Minnesota grocer? I suspect at some point they switched from maple flavoring (on the order of 20% or less maple) to imitation maple flavored (which has a more intense flavor). Note Pinnacle now makes a big deal of having a pure maple syrup version. The descriptions of the earlier product carefully include that key word 'flavored'.

                                          paulj

                                      2. I knew, because I can't stand any of it. Maple or nothing.

                                        1. I just found out recently too. Working at a Rotary pancake breakfast fundraiser, I learned the store-bought stuff is not too good.

                                          1. Here's what I know: Log Cabin is what I buy for my husband and real maple syrup is what I eat myself. He keeps complaining about it, but I keep buying him the cheap crap and he keeps eating it. Works for me.

                                            1. I think that the original Log Cabin was pure maple syrup. By the 50's and 60's, it was a blend. The kiss of death was the advent of HFCS in the 70's -- bye-bye maple, hello really yucky imitation. If projection I've read lately are accurate, though, we may all be forced to eat the bad stuff sooner rather than later: Sugar maples are predicted to disappear from New England due to global warming; production is already down. Eat quickly!

                                              12 Replies
                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                When I was growing up I didn't know Log Cabin was just basically condensed, colored sugar water with flavoring. We would go to Vermont in the summer and at first I didn't like the real stuff.

                                                Funny, pikawicca, there was a program just this morning about how global warming was wiping out the maple sugar industry. Here' a few recent articles.

                                                "It seems, though, the springs come earlier and the winters are less harsh."

                                                And that's not good news for making syrup. The sap flows best when there are warm days followed by below-freezing nights. The combination creates the pressure inside the maple trees that makes the sap flow.

                                                http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/GlobalWarmi...

                                                http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/us/...

                                                Learn to love that Log Cabin

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  yup, mom said that sugarbush is pretty much already over for the year (just outside MSP) & that they only got about 10% as in past years. :-(

                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                    Get ready for artisanal Canadian Maple Syrup as the zone moves North...

                                                2. re: pikawicca

                                                  "Sugar maples are predicted to disappear from New England due to global warming; production is already down. "

                                                  Um, this would be news to Quebec producers (who make more than 80% of the world's maple syrup), who were sitting on approximately 4.5 MILLION gallons (or about 10 times Vermont's annual production) held in reserve to keep market prices up. After bumper crops in 2003 and 2005, production was down the last two years due to COLD springs (I guess global warming caused that, huh?), which inhibit sap flow. That reserve is now gone, but farmers are expecting a warmer spring this year and another bumper crop. Please don't perpetuate these "global warming" myths.

                                                    1. re: KevinB

                                                      Um, last I checked, Quebec was north of New England. And in case you hadn't noticed, the climate tends to get colder the farther north you go in the Northern Hemisphere. So the fact that the weather is still cold enough to produce syrup in Quebec has exactly nothing to do with whether it's too warm in New England.

                                                      And on a related matter, global warming is a fact. Its causes, its effects, its future course, and what (if anything) can be done to moderate it are all open to legitimate scientific dispute. But anybody who claims that that the earth is not getting warmer is either dishonest or willfully ignorant.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        There's a review of a book 'Early Spring' at Real Climate
                                                        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/...
                                                        The author discusses the earlier maple sugar times, but cautions that climate change may be only one factor in this case. She's more certain about changes in bird migration.

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          Seidl's discussion of Vermont forests, and maples in particular can be read at Google books preview, starting about page 49.

                                                          http://books.google.com/books?id=rD0n...

                                                        2. re: alanbarnes

                                                          Since this thread is surviving into its fourth year, thought I'd add some updates.

                                                          After down years in 2005 and 2006, Quebec production soared to a record 110 million pounds in 2009, falling slightly to 88 million pounds in 2010. This has allowed the Quebec producers to rebuild their reserve, while allowing store prices to fall. We don't have to worry about running out of the real thing for a while.

                                                          Most Quebec maple farms are in the Eastern Townships, the strip of land that runs from the US border to the St. Lawrence. Since few farms are more than 50 miles from the US border, I find it unlikely that the global warming/climate change alarmists' claims that maple trees are dying from excess heat have any truth. I would be much more worried about invasive species. In Toronto, where we have literally thousands of ash trees, the introduction of an Asian "ash beetle" has resulted in a crisis where city officials admit they are powerless to stop the insect, and are instead making plans to cut, burn, and replace ash trees with another species that this beetle doesn't target. (We had a similar disaster to our many stately elms a few decades back.) If I heard that there was some new beetle that targeted sugar maples, I would be REALLY worried.

                                                          1. re: FrankD

                                                            Bizarre Foods Montreal spends quite some time on the maple syrup business, particularly at Martin Picard’s Cabin Sucre
                                                            http://blog.travelchannel.com/bizarre...

                                                        3. re: KevinB

                                                          That's why we need to use the more appropriate term "climate change".

                                                          1. re: lgss

                                                            as in IP C C (which was created in 1988)?

                                                      2. I've known these were fake for as long as I can remember, but Aunt Jemima is what I got at home. I believe it was a blend when I was a child, but it became fake a very long time ago.

                                                        I've found that most people I know don't like real maple syrup because it doesn't have a strong enough maple flavour. Fake maple tastes more like maple than maple, as does some Splenda-sweetened imitation maple stuff :-)

                                                        Actually, I think maple grading is backwards and I find the "top grade" syrup to be weak and watery. The real maple syrup in my fridge is B Grade medium.

                                                        40 Replies
                                                        1. re: embee

                                                          I hadn't finished reading your post embee, when I was thinking "But Grade B real maple syrup tastes WAY better than regular maple syrup!" ... and then I read your last paragraph. I love that they call Grade B "cooking maple syrup" - I use it for everything!

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            My son and his family were vacationing in New England a few years ago and stopped at a maple syrup distillery (or boilery? or whatever) and the proprietor said they should ONLY buy Grade B, which has the best flavor. He was standing there, making maple syrup, and so we have taken that seriously.

                                                            Trader Joe's has a Grade B (also several brands of Grade A) and the B is what we have been using.

                                                            I, too, grew up on Log Cabin (WAY back when it came in a tin shaped like a cabin, with the chimney as the pouring spout). I have no idea of its composition back then, but haven't had any in decades. Maybe it still comes in a cabin-shaped tin- I wouldn't know.

                                                            1. re: MikeLM

                                                              And I just heard on the radio that maple syruping season in the New England area is/was going to be dismal because of the unseasonable weather we had throughout the winter. So I'm making a note to get some Grade B at TJs this weekend before the prices go up!

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                "...before prices go up" -- or perhaps while supplies last. I heard the same thing, even fr friends in Maine who have sugar maples in their front yard.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Linda - if you know any one who lives in Vermont have them buy you some local MS. My friend who lives in Shrewsbury buys Grade B from a farm up the road from her house. There's Nothing like fresh Grade B Maple Syrup.

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    Gio, my earlier response was from 2 years ago. I *only* buy Grade B - the last container I got from TJs was $12.99 (I think that was 2 years ago). The one I bought this year was $16.99 or $18.99, I think.

                                                                    I plan on going up to Quechee, VT for some antiquing in the next few weeks. In addition to Jed's Maple Farm Balsamic/Maple Vinaigrette, I also plan to get a large container of Grade B at the Quechee Village store (Cabot?) or if they don't have it, somewhere else local. :-)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      grade "b" wins most blind tastings year in and year out

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Oh for goodness sakes, Linda... I didn't even notice the date - just saw your name. And, I'm usually careful about that.

                                                                        If you mean the Quechee Gorge Village off Rte 4, just east of Woodstock it's a terrific place to hunt for antiques. I have bought grade B there so you'll probably find it too. Then there's always Gillingham's right in Woodstock center..

                                                                        Have a wonderful trip!

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          That's OK, Gio! I've gotten snared in long-ago conversations when they've magikly reappeared back at the top of the boards as well. :-)

                                                                          And that is exactly where I mean. That antique store is fun - sometimes I find something; sometimes not. I just like the drive up there and the anticipation of finding *just* the right thing that I didn't know I really needed. ;-)

                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Actually Grade B is now called "Grade A Dark Amber" in Vermont.

                                                                      1. re: al b. darned

                                                                        that which we call a grade "b" maple syrup
                                                                        by any other name would taste as sweet

                                                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                                                          Oooh, they're messin' with my mind here! Why the change, do you know?

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            The supposed perception was that Grade B was somehow inferior and most flatlanders....I mean tourists...wouldn't buy it. By calling it "Grade A Dark Amber" sales went up. Real Vermonters bought it no matter what it was called.

                                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                                              Good lord. How about educating the public about what the grades mean for maple syrup instead of dumbing it down for them? It's not hard to have a little sign that explains it all.

                                                                              So will I still see Grade B up in Quechee, whenever I get up there? Or is it now *all* called Grade A Dark Amber?

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                I was at Trader Joes the other day, and they had Grade A medium amber (supposedly award winning) and Grade A dark amber. I wasn't sure so I didn't buy any (still have half a bottle home).

                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                  And the last container I got at TJs (several months ago) was still labeled Grade B (the plastic jug). So that *will* last me awhile, but I guess I'll just have to remember that the use of the Grade B label seems to be going the way of the dodo. Thanks, coll.

                                                                          2. re: al b. darned

                                                                            Grade A Dark Amber is different than Grade B. And apparently the labeling is controlled by the USDA, so it should be the same in Vermont as anyplace else.

                                                                            http://www.massmaple.org/grading.html

                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                              Urrrgggghhhhhh!!!! So based on that info, perhaps the recent season only produced Grade A dark amber, and the weather wasn't right for Grade B.

                                                                              Well, at least I have a good supply of Grade B to last me for awhile. But at least I know Grade A Dark will work for my tastebuds.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Grade A dark amber is certainly good, but it does not have as intense a maple glavor as grade B. They're certainly not the same.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  But if I can't find Grade B, for whatever reason, Grade A Dark will have to do. Anything's better than the pale Grade A.

                                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                Would A dark amber be a A-, which is just a step away from a B+?

                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                  al b. darned said:
                                                                                  "Actually Grade B is now called 'Grade A Dark Amber' in Vermont." -- "The supposed perception was that Grade B was somehow inferior and most flatlanders....I mean tourists...wouldn't buy it. By calling it "Grade A Dark Amber" sales went up. Real Vermonters bought it no matter what it was called."

                                                                                  alan barnes said:
                                                                                  "Grade A Dark Amber is different than Grade B. And apparently the labeling is controlled by the USDA, so it should be the same in Vermont as anyplace else."

                                                                                  _____
                                                                                  This discussion about grade A vs grade B has had me very confused, so I've been digging around for a little more info on the web.

                                                                                  In turns out that 'grade B' syrup (ie USDA US Grade B syrup) is not necessarily precisely the same thing as 'Vermont Grade B' syrup. It matters which state packaged and labeled your syrup and where the processor intended to sell it.

                                                                                  It seems that while the USDA does have standards for maple syrup grades, various states, notably Vermont, use more specific standards.

                                                                                  The USDA has 3 “grades” (A, B, and substandard); and only US grade A is suitable for consumer labeling and packaging in consumer size containers under the regulation. US Grade A is further broken down into 3 “classification” types.

                                                                                  The result is that under the USDA scheme, there are 5 possible categories of maple syrup:

                                                                                  US Grade A light amber
                                                                                  US Grade A medium amber
                                                                                  US Grade A dark amber
                                                                                  US Grade B for Reprocessing
                                                                                  Substandard

                                                                                  Vermont’s system, on the other hand, has 6 possible categories, one more than the USDA system:

                                                                                  Vermont Fancy Grade
                                                                                  Vermont Grade A medium amber
                                                                                  Vermont Grade A dark amber
                                                                                  Vermont Grade B
                                                                                  Vermont Commercial Grade
                                                                                  Vermont Substandard

                                                                                  Note that under USDA regulation, ‘US grade B’ syrup is not suitable for consumer labeling or packaging in consumer size containers; whereas under Vermont regulation, ‘Vermont grade B’ IS suitable for packaging for consumers. Vermont ‘commercial grade’ may not be sold as packaged maple syrup.

                                                                                  Further complicating all of the above, under Vermont regulation:

                                                                                  “Persons packaging maple syrup in this State for sale outside of this State may use either the applicable grade designation under these [Vermont] regulations, or the applicable grade designation [of the USDA], however, Grade B and Commercial Grade maple syrup shall not be labeled as US Grade B. (Nevertheless, all maple syrup sold, offered, or exposed for sale in this State shall be marked with the appropriate grade designation provided for by these regulations only.)”

                                                                                  http://askville.amazon.com/difference...

                                                                                  http://www.sizes.com/food/maple_syrup...

                                                                                  http://www.vermontagriculture.com/fsc...

                                                                                  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfi...

                                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                                    >>"Note that under USDA regulation, ‘US grade B’ syrup is not suitable for consumer labeling or packaging in consumer size containers; whereas under Vermont regulation, ‘Vermont grade B’ is suitable for packaging for consumers."<<

                                                                                    Not sure where you got your info, but you may want to double-check it. I'm sitting here looking at a 32 ounce bottle of Grade B maple syrup that I just took out of the fridge. There's no reference to Vermont anywhere on the bottle.

                                                                                    Or look at this Google Shopping search: http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&...

                                                                                    Dozens of results for consumer-sized containers of non-Vermont Grade B maple syrup.

                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                      I got the info I posted above in the links included in the post.

                                                                                      What brand is your syrup? In which state was the syrup produced, and in which was it sold?

                                                                                      Btw, I read at one of the websites that the USDA grading scheme is voluntary.

                                                                                      ______
                                                                                      Unites States Standards for Grades of Maple Sirup, January 14, 1980

                                                                                      "§52.5961(b) Federal inspection certificates shall limit U.S. Grade B maple sirup to a quality suitable for reprocessing only. U.S. Grade B maple sirup shall be considered unsuitable for consumer labeling.
                                                                                      ...

                                                                                      §52.5962(b) U.S. Grade B for Reprocessing is the quality of maple sirup that: ...
                                                                                      (5) Is suitably designated or labeled as a reprocessing grade to qualify
                                                                                      for Federal grading, inspection, or certification. Reprocessing grade
                                                                                      maple sirup shall not be packaged in consumer size containers."

                                                                                      ______
                                                                                      Vermont Maple Products Law & Regulations, July 14, 2006
                                                                                      Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

                                                                                      Section III(1)(e)
                                                                                      "... Commercial Grade syrup shall not be placed in packaged maple syrup
                                                                                      containers and may not be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale as packaged maple syrup."

                                                                                      Section III(4)
                                                                                      "The word 'Vermont' (or the abbreviation 'Vt.') shall appear in conjunction with the grade on any maple syrup container when the maple syrup therein is 100 percent pure maple syrup which is entirely produced within the State of Vermont. The word 'Vermont' (or the abbreviation 'Vt.') shall not appear in
                                                                                      conjunction with any grade where the maple syrup within the container was not produced in Vermont. The prefix 'U.S.' may be used in conjunction with the Grade A Medium Amber and Grade A Dark Amber grade designations on maple syrup not produced in Vermont. In addition, where the maple syrup within the container was not produced in Vermont the name of the place of origin (that is the state, province, or country) may also be used in conjunction with the Grade A Medium Amber and Grade A Dark Amber grade designations. No additional words or terms may be used in conjunction with the grade. Thus, 'Grade A Medium Amber or better' 'First Run' and other such terms may not be used."

                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                        Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 7, Section 52.5862(b) prohibited the sale of consumer quantities of Grade B maple syrup. But that was in 1980; the section appears to have been repealed some time in the last 30 years, and is no longer in the book. See http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa...

                                                                                        Don't know what the regs are now, but the syrup I buy here in California is clearly labeled "Grade B." This particular bottle was produced in Canada. Maybe it's the Canadian grading system that's being used? Hard to believe that would be allowed, but if the USDA has gotten out of the business of grading maple syrup, that might just be the case.

                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                          In your experiences, what is the difference? Is it law, or fine print, or taste?
                                                                                          How do we hang a duplicitous maple tree?

                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            The higher the grade, the purer the syrup. But impurities = flavor. Grade B is the most maple-y of all the syrups I've tried, although I hear that Canadian Grade C is occasionally available north of the border, and is pretty intense. A little bitter, but loaded with flavor. Maybe people could start bootlegging it down to the US...

                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                              I'm sitting looking at my Grade B Maple Syrup also. (We're staring in synchrony, Alan!) From Trader Joe's.

                                                                                              I bought it specifically after I saw the America's Test Kitchen show on maple syrup, in which they explained that Grade B had more flavor than Grade A. The difference in grade has to do when the tree is tapped -- later in the season the syrup is darker in color, and more flavorful.

                                                                                              Quoting what America's Test Kitchen says:
                                                                                              Grades
                                                                                              Maple syrup is graded according to regulations set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grades are based on color, or the amount of light that can pass through the syrup. U.S. Grade A Light Amber is sometimes also called “Fancy.” This is the first syrup of the season, made when the sap is lighter and has the mildest flavor. Light Amber syrup is generally used to make maple sugar candy. U.S. Grade A Medium and Dark Ambers are the most common syrups and are mostly used for topping pancakes and waffles. U.S. Grade B syrup, occasionally called cooking syrup, is made late in the season and has the strongest flavor. Grade B syrup is often less expensive than the other grades, though there is no difference in the cost of production.

                                                                                              [Racer x, I think your information must be old.]

                                                                                              Tasting
                                                                                              We tasted nine samples of pure maple syrup to determine the smartest way to buy it: by grade or by source. While we did not find that the syrup made in one region or state was superior to that made in another, tasters did prefer the assertive maple flavor of Grade B syrup. Grade A Dark amber was a close second, with a “nutty, rich flavor.” The medium and light ambers were found lacking in maple flavor.

                                                                                              It used to be hard to find Grade B syrup, as Vermont was the only state that marketed it to consumers. It's now more available nationwide. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets are among the national outlets that carry it. Maple syrup is also available on the Web. King Arthur Flour sells our top-rated syrup, Highland Sugarworks Grade B (1 quart).

                                                                                              http://www.cooksillustrated.com/other...

                                                                                              [ATK said the Trader Joe's Grade B Maple Syrup was the best buy.]

                                                                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                "Racer x, I think your information must be old."

                                                                                                That is entirely possible.

                                                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                The USDA still lists that 1980 maple sirup standard on their website under the "Grading, Certification and Verification" section for miscellaneous and sugar grade standards (along with standards for comb honey that date from 1967 and for sugarcane that date from 1957).

                                                                                                If there was any change in the USDA maple syrup standard since 1980, it seems it was probably enacted after 1996, going by some of the state statutes from around that time (eg Michigan and NY).

                                                                                                New York's Dept of Agriculture circular 947 was based on NY regulations as of April 1996. It directly lifts language from the USDA 1980 regulation:
                                                                                                "Grade B for reprocessing is the quality of maple syrup that... Reprocessing grade maple syrup shall not be packaged in consumer-size containers and shall be considered unsuitable for consumer labeling."

                                                                                                http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/FS/indus...

                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                  I don't think it has anything to do with impurities; a producer told me it was due to mineral content and when the trees are tapped. Trees tapped later in the season = more minerals in the sap = darker syrup. The Vermont Fancy Grade syrup--which I also love--is from the earliest sap.
                                                                                                  If I'm not mistaken, I remember reading some years back that the specific gravity for maple syrup set by Vermont state law is higher than that required by other states or Canada, IOW, it's boiled longer and contains less water.

                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                    To me, Grade B tastes burned. Hubby loves it, though. I use Grade A Dark Amber.

                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                      grade b is the original stuff. the higher the grade, the sweeter the syrup. They shipped honey, and used teh grade b for themselves (and by they, we mean the hanseatic league).

                                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                    More digging...

                                                                                                    Interesting paper apparently written by a Harvard law student, H. David Gold, in 2003: "Legal Strategies to Address the Misrepresentation of Vermont Maple Syrup," is available via google search.

                                                                                                    According to that account, since 1994 Federal law has allowed states to use their own standards for maple syrup identity, pre-empting Federal standards for maple syrup.

                                                                                                    "Under this exemption, Vermont has established its own standard of identity for maple syrup. While the federal standard permits salt and chemical preservatives as optional ingredients, Vermont law requires maple syrup to be 100 percent pure. Furthermore, a product may only be labeled Vermont maple syrup or Vermont syrup if it is produced and packaged entirely within the state. Thus, Vermont's specific statutory requirements present another potential source of confusion, as producers may falsely or deceptively label syrup from other regions with the product name Vermont maple syrup."

                                                                                                    The paper goes on to describe how in 1988 a Vermonter tested products purchased in California labeled as maple syrup and found that the products contained 98% corn syrup. The FDA went after the syrup makers, eventually resulting in stiff fines (one of $130,000) and prison sentences for several syrup makers.

                                                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                                                      Looks like Maine's grading system doesn't include a "grade B" at all.

                                                                                                      In Maine, the choices are:

                                                                                                      grade A light amber
                                                                                                      grade A medium amber
                                                                                                      grade A dark amber
                                                                                                      grade A extra dark amber
                                                                                                      commercial
                                                                                                      substandard

                                                                                                      So it seems that Maine changed "grade B" to "grade A extra dark amber."
                                                                                                      http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis...
                                                                                                      http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/bu...

                                                                                                      It looks like you really need to know what grading system they use in the particular state your syrup comes from (if this kind of thing matters to you).

                                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                                        What a mess. Thanks for spending the time to track this info down. I'm hoping that my Canadian syrup that's labeled "Grade B" is classified under the Canadian grading system, as opposed to a system that has been invented by, say, the City of Camden, NJ.

                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                          My recollection was that the Canadian classifications aren't the same A-B-C as is used in the US, but since the majority of the pure maple syrup sold in the US is Canadian, I assumed that it is labeled with the US letter grades so American consumers can judge based on their familiarity with A, B, etc. (Of course, who knew there was so much going on in state vs. USDA grades?)

                                                                                                          I just did a moment's looking around, and found that in Candada, the grades are 1-2-3, with 1 having a subset of extra light, light, and medium. The link below is to a Canadian maple vendor, so certainly not an authoritative reference, but at the bottom of the page, there is a comparison of Canadian and US grades, which shows an equivalence between Canadian Grade 2 and US Grade B. (The description of US Grade B as "for reprocessing" seems to reflect some of the [outdated?] USDA language racer x cites above.)

                                                                                                          http://www.acadianmaple.com/pure_mapl...

                                                                                                        2. re: racer x

                                                                                                          And THIS is why I love this site! The fact that you were like a dog digging for a bone (semi-food reference <g>) in finding out about the differences in maple syrup grades depending on the state the syrup is from is what makes this place and the people who post here great. :-)

                                                                                                          I'll have to tell my sister and BIL, who are building a cabin in Maine, that they want to buy Grade A Extra Dark Amber in place of the Grade B I've convinced her to buy here in Massachusetts.

                                                                                                          Thanks, racer_x!

                                                                                    2. re: embee

                                                                                      Ayuh! I grew up in Vermont and used to go out on a wagon pulled by draft horses to collect sap and take it back to the sugarshack. Back then the grade of choice was C-grade, aka utility grade, whereas the fancy and A grades (the weak and watery stuff) are what used to get passed off to the tourists. C is commonly sold to the few big producers that use a modicum of the real stuff in their product, and is occasionally fed to the hogs. If you can find it, C grade has the most intense maple flavor and is usually half the price of the others. It's hard to find, but I used to get it direct from small operators out on the back roads. Always a fun quest for road trips through New England.

                                                                                      1. re: XidefiX

                                                                                        I've never had C but I like B an awful lot. I also like what you refer to as the "weak and watery stuff," which I find delicate and delightful (what can I say--I'm a person of extremes).
                                                                                        I now have to wonder if the C grade is used as the base for maple extract.

                                                                                    3. I thought everyone knew that pancake syrup only had maple flavoring. The price alone would be a giant red flag.

                                                                                      1. Being from New ENgland myself, I never knew what "Log cabin" or "Mrs Butterworths" was, until I went into the service.

                                                                                        1. I knew, grew up with the real thing, never could figure out what Jemimah Juice was supposed to taste like.

                                                                                          1. I have a friend who prefers Dark Cane Syrup. It didn't help that I laughed out loud (before the internet gave us LOL) when she asked for it to pour on my homemade buttermilk waffles.

                                                                                            Now, does anyone know a source for poplar syrup?

                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: shallots

                                                                                                You should try making your own syrup by dissolving a couple of Mexican raw sugar cones (piloncillo) in a bit of boiling water. You might be surprised how much flavor there is in cane syrup.
                                                                                                paulj

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  We've fallen in love with Lyle's Golden Syrup as an occasional alternative to maple, just as a different flavor - so good! It also makes an outstanding pecan pie.

                                                                                                  1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                    Now Lyle's comes in a bottle with a pouring spout, so you don't have to spoon it from the can. :-)
                                                                                                    paulj

                                                                                                2. re: shallots

                                                                                                  Slow Food USA recognizes Cane Syrup in its Ark of Taste as an American Heritage food and Steen's, in Abbeville, Louisiana, is the only remaining US producer of this incredible product, which South Louisiana natives consider the ONLY appropriate syrup to use on waffles, pancakes, biscuits, or your finger.
                                                                                                  http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/...

                                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                    That's not true--there are any number of small syrup producers in the south, many of whom sell online. I use Carson Ann, which is pure ribbon cane syrup.

                                                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                      Yeah there's a quite few individual sugar cane mill operators here in Florida.

                                                                                                      These guys are a good resource to check out if you're curious...
                                                                                                      http://southernsyrupmakers.com/

                                                                                                      I usually go to the Florida State fairgrounds here in Tampa, and pick up bottles of it at the Cracker Country section of the fairgrounds. Cane Syrup was what my grandparents made us use when we were kids. I usually poured it all over everything on the plate. Plus you can make a pretty good Old Fashioned using cane syrup.

                                                                                                      1. re: deet13

                                                                                                        Reminds me of the scene in To Kill a Mockingbird where Scout makes fun of her impoverished guest after he requests syrup at table and then drowns everything, including his meat, in it.
                                                                                                        Thanks for the link! It's nice to see that the old ways aren't completely gone, especially when they result in something as delicious as cane syrup. Syrup-making is supposed to be quite an art.

                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                          Heh, I had to pour cane syrup all over my food in order to balance out the salty flavor of the ham my grandmother usually made for breakfast. And dear Lord, whenever my grandfather was stuck cooking breakfast for us, he only cooked salt pork. You needed a bottle apiece to reduce the saltiness of his meals.

                                                                                                          So speaking from my own experiences, I just assumed that the poor kid in "To Kill a Mockingbird" was stuck eating a lot of salt cured meats, thus the cane syrup drenching.

                                                                                                          1. re: deet13

                                                                                                            Oh, YECCH. If there's one thing I dislike, it's too much salt--a little goes a long way for me. And yeah, he (Walter?) might have had to eat a lot of salt-cured pork although I seem to recall mention of squirrels as well. It's possible they were too poor to keep hogs and just ate what they shot or caught.

                                                                                                          2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                            now when your country sausage gets some syrup on it from the biscuit, you might as well just take that ol' sausage patty and tuck it into your biscuit, take a bite, and thank the Good Lord that you're alive!
                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                            i grew up on cane syrup, and it was always my mom's favorite. i prefer maple, though; the cane is very strong (and "earthy-vegetal").

                                                                                                      2. re: MakingSense

                                                                                                        In Latin America there are still plenty of small outfits that crush their own cane, and boil it down. However they usually pour it into molds (often cone shaped), and sell a hard raw sugar, rather than a syrup. But you can make your own syrup by dissolving these cones in boiling water. This sugar has a strong molasses taste.

                                                                                                      3. re: shallots

                                                                                                        When we were kids, and Mom made pancakes (not often enough for us!), she'd put maple syrup and Beehive Corn Syrup (I never actually figured out what corn syrup had to do with bees..) on the table. Some days I would choose maple, and some days Beehive. They are different tastes, for sure, but I liked the variety - just like with eggs today. Sometimes I have HP sauce, sometimes salsa. They're both good.

                                                                                                      4. I grew up on Log Cabin, and the first time I tasted real maple syrup I thought there was something wrong with it! I grew to like it, though, and haven't had Log Cabin since I was a kid.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Kagey

                                                                                                          that just happened when we had a 10 year old over for breakfast-- she poured 1/2 of a pint bottle of real maple syrup on her waffle, took 1 bite, and turned up her nose. her dad saved the day by eating her waffle, but i'm still ranting about it, i realize, a full 3 months later. i probably need to go on anti-psychotics or something. . .

                                                                                                        2. I grew up in Maine with only real maple syrup. If it isn't available, I don't eat anything that calls for syrup. It's not that unusual for restaurants in New England to serve gravy-boat sized servings of real maple syrup - and it's especially nice warmed. Yes, I carry small bottles of it when I travel.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: sophie fox

                                                                                                            SophieFox, it's funny you say that. I went to a conference once and met someone from Vermont, and at breakfast the conversationed to maple syrup. I mentioned that in the SF Bay Area there were some restaurants that charge $.50 if you want real maple syrup. He said that the places he went to (in VERMONT!) charged $2.00!!! I was really surprised. He clearly should be going to the restaurants with gravy boats of maple syrup!

                                                                                                          2. Anyone from New England, who knows what real maple syrup tastes like! I had to wean my husband off the fake stuff when we got married (he's from New Jersey).

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: ARoz

                                                                                                              And I am sure he is grateful for that. Us NJ people sure take abuse.

                                                                                                              Now he can teach you what a real hot dog and bagel tastes like.

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                ...or a real sloppy joe, Jfood :)

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                  That's not fair. I was trying to get to Katz's to bring home some pastrami (Tuesday in NYC) and never got out of my meetings. :-((

                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                    well...next time make sure the meeting is catered!

                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                      It was, Cosi, not bad if you know which sandwiches to grab, the sugar cookies were good and the Caesar salad not bad. But it ain't Katz's.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                        ...dreaming of Katz's right now!

                                                                                                            2. I have real maple syrup but only use it for certain recipes or have something special to put it on.
                                                                                                              I can't remember the last time I bought a bottle of Log Cabin or Mrs. Buttersworth, but I make my own syrup with Maple Extract, Sugar and Water. It's fine for pancakes and waffles, and it beats buying the products with corn syrup.

                                                                                                              1. I just noticed an Aunt Jemima variety labeled "contains 15% maple syrup". I don't plan to taste it, but if anyone out there does, please post.

                                                                                                                1. We have real maple syrup at home but we must suffer using the artificial stuff at restaurants. Why cant they offer the real deal? Doesnt Cracker Barrel stiff provide the real stuff?

                                                                                                                  1. No offense but reading the label usually tells you the reality. I think label reading should be taught in school. It's one of the simplest health education things that could be done and it's basically free or already paid for.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: ML8000

                                                                                                                      Great in theory but if your parents can only afford Log Cabin, that's what they'll buy. I agree that it's important for everyone to learn to read labels.

                                                                                                                    2. I knew. I grew up on fake American food (Kraft mac and cheese, frozen pizza, Aunt Jemima pancakes/syrup, TV dinners, Banquet fried chicken--or whatever brand was on sale). But, for the most part, my mom made chinese food and these were the only way she knew to make anything "American." They were such a special treat from the daily rice. Don't get me started on our family's "Italian"...My kids, OTOH, have never had anything but real maple syrup.

                                                                                                                      1. When a label reads, "Pancake Syrup" or "Maple Flavored Syrup," you can be sure that there is no actual maple syrup in it. I grew up Connecticut, and coming back from Vermont with real maple syrup, bought from a sugar house, was a tradition. My husband grew up in Seattle, Sacramento and Reno, and when we first met, he thought my real maple syrup tasted odd. Now, he doesn't care for the phony-baloney stuff anymore

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: ClaireWalter

                                                                                                                          There's an interesting assumption in most of these posts - if a syrup is not pure New England (or Canadian) maple syrup, it is not real syrup. I would agree that it is not real maple syrup, but a syrup does not have to be maple to be good, or to be used on pancakes (or does it?).

                                                                                                                          What would qualify as a good, locally sourced, seasonal (did I miss any buzz words) syrup in Seattle, San Francisco, or Atlanta? I've read that the Pacific NW native maple, the Big Leaf, makes a good syrup, though there are difficulties in doing this commercially. How about berry flavored syrups? In Latin America the local raw brown sugar is a favorite for make syrups - usually with an addition of cinnamon. Almond and rose water flavor syrups are classics elsewhere. But maybe this is another topic.

                                                                                                                          paulj

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            I beg your pardon, but here in the midwest we make real maple syrup from the same kind of sugar maple trees that grow in New England. There is also a (small) supply of delicious Shagbark Hickory Syrup.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                              yes, indeed, maple forests extend quite far into the upper midwest. there is nothing inherently superior about new england maple syrup over midwestern or canadian maple syrups.

                                                                                                                              http://forestry.about.com/library/tre...

                                                                                                                              here is a link with some fun real maple syrup recipes.

                                                                                                                              http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/Specials%...

                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                *revives ancient thread*

                                                                                                                                I found this page on hickory syrup and I am quite intrigued by the idea of tasting other tree syrups. I'm wondering if anyone can report what the taste is like.

                                                                                                                                Look, there's video!

                                                                                                                                http://www.localharvest.org/hickory-s...

                                                                                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                Well, to change the subject a little... a really good syrup is sorghum molasses. It's a Midwest/southern thing and is just as distinctive in its way as real maple syrup. Great stuff on pancakes/waffles.

                                                                                                                                If you can find it, you should give it a try. You must be careful - manufacturers have done to sorghum what they've done to "maple" syrup. I bought a half-gallon tin of "Sorghum" at Lambert's Restaurant in Sikeston, MO - deep in the heart of sorghum country - only to find when I got it home and read the fine print, that it was corn syrup flavored with sorghum. Threw it out.

                                                                                                                                The real stuff, though, has as much character as real maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                  In the NW, mother made wonderful quince syrup. It was, basically, thin jelly.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    Manitoba, Canada makes a maple syrup from the "Black Maple", also called the "Box Elder".

                                                                                                                                  2. re: ClaireWalter

                                                                                                                                    Most maple flavored syrup do contain some maple syrup. The large producers (Staley, Continental, etc.) buy maple syrup off of small producers to flavor their syrup. We have done that on occasion to move our excess syrup, which is produced in Northeastern Ohio.

                                                                                                                                  3. I knew. Prepared pancake syrups have nothing to do with the Real Thing Without Quotes. I grew up on the junk. Of course, I also grew up knowing relatives who were too cheap to buy imitaiton maple syrup and made their own... There are lots of recipes for pancake syrups including those based on various sugars or fruits...

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                      'I also grew up knowing relatives who were too cheap to buy imitaiton maple syrup and made their own... ' - making your own, sounds like a very 'chowish' thing to do. They probably made their pancakes from scratch as well. :-)

                                                                                                                                      paulj

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        I never had any of those fake syrups as a child. My mother made her own syrup out of brown sugar and water. Now I've got her hooked on maple....

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                          Nah. They also made imitation bisquik when crisco went on sale. Small income. Lot of kids. My aunt also made good food but the syrup was thrift.

                                                                                                                                      2. Late to the party, but I knew too. I grew up on Karo and used to require it in order to eat pancakes or waffles. But, since my DH is from Massachusetts and used to have to harvest sap from maple trees in high school, he made a convert out of me as quick as he could. I struggled, because pure high fructose corn syrup with coloring & artificial flavors sure tastes good!

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: slobhan

                                                                                                                                          Mty grandmother, who lived in New England all her life and grew up in Buffalo, preferred Karo syrup! (She had several other food quirks that didn't seem regionally appropriate; for instance she - and therefore my whole family - knew the concoction known to cafeteria diners as American chop suey by the name of "goulash.")

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                            To be fair, I never heard the term "American chop suey" before moving to New England. Back where I'm from it's just "mac 'n beef."

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dtremit

                                                                                                                                              Yes, but my point (two years ago) was that she grew up in Buffalo and then lived in New England all her life, but did NOT call the dish by its local name.

                                                                                                                                        2. New Englander. Always knew. We had the cheap stuff in the house, because my father was the cheapest man alive, but we always had a special jug of the real stuff for a treat.

                                                                                                                                          1. Always have! Having lived my entire life in Quebec, maple syrup is in the pantry 24/7. Maple syrup is sold everywhere & I feel for folks who have trouble sourcing it. Especially since this time of year is "sugaring off" time & I hope that everyone has a chance to experience a sugar shack (cabane a sucre in Quebec) at least once in their lives.
                                                                                                                                            As kids, our school would load us onto the bus & take us to the cabane a sucre on the outskirts of Montreal. Upon arrival, we would get loaded onto a horse pulled hayride & go see how & where the maple trees are tapped & how the sap dripped & collected in buckets. (Nowadays, the trees are all tapped & connected by tubing.) Upon returning back to the shack, we'd then see how the sap is boiled & turns into maple syrup. Then the fun started - a long trough was filled with snow & hot maple syrup poured onto the snow. You are given a popsicle stick & you twirl the stick in the snow/syrup to get your maple taffy. They would keep pouring the syrup until you could eat no more.

                                                                                                                                            These days most cabines a sucre offer lunch, dinner & weekend brunch . A typical menu would be - Sugaring-off feast, Served family style - all-you-can-eat:
                                                                                                                                            Mountaineer's Pea Soup, Farm-Style Crusty Bread, Canadian Salted Back Bacon, Québécois Maple-Smoked Ham, Wood-Fired Baked Beans, Farm-Style Omelette, Traditional Meatballs Stew, Country-Style Sausages, Old-style Mashed Potatoes, Meat Pie from Quebec's Beauce Region, Homemade Fruits Ketchup & Pickles. Dessert: Pancakes with Maple Syrup, Sugar pie, tea and coffee, Maple-taffy-on-snow tasting.

                                                                                                                                            For additional info check out: http://www.sucreriedelamontagne.com/ or google cabane a sucre

                                                                                                                                            1. My finicky niece has been raised on HFCS products with artificial maple flavoring. She calls it just "syrup," and when she visited us and saw a bottle of the real thing on our table at breakfast, she asked skeptically "What's this *maple* syrup?" Sad to say, for her the fake product was the standard, and the genuine article was something to view with suspicion.

                                                                                                                                              1. I only figured it out as a teenager, and cared enough to read labels and ingredient lists. Log Cabin used to be alot better back in the 1970's, then it seemed they cut out using real maple syrup for "flavoring".

                                                                                                                                                Trying honest-to-God real maple syrup was one of my food ephanies in life. I can barely get down "pancake syrup" unless necessary.

                                                                                                                                                I have found however..If you read labels, you can find pancake syrup that's got maple syrup in the 3rd or 4th ingredient listing. It's actually not too bad, better than Mrs. Butterworths or Log Cabin by far. Best part is, it's a "house-brand" blue label product. If you have a Smith's grocer, it's their generic pancake syrup.

                                                                                                                                                But, the real deal...NOTHING can come close to it. In fact, i'm going to eat some maple candy I have stashed away right now!

                                                                                                                                                1. Knew it. You can't touch genuine maple syrup for under $5/pint.

                                                                                                                                                  Then again, even though I'm a native New Englander, I'm was never a big maple fan, and we couldn't afford "real" stuff, so the "genuineness" wasn't a big issue. Back when I used to go to IHOP, I always passed on the maple and went right to the boysenberry.

                                                                                                                                                  Then, a couple of years ago a friend in the coffee biz gave me some imitation vanilla syrup he created for his Hawaiian shave ice business. And it's delicious on buckwheat pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I knew, but I am a label reader. Love real maple syrup -- but it is very expensive! I grew up on Log Cabin and remember that I loved that then too!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Okay - so I like Mrs. Butterworths. Does anyone have a recipe to convert Maple Syrup into MB? I assume with some thickening agents it's possible, but I am no chef. Looking to get rid of the Corn Syrup (which I have heard is not so good for us).

                                                                                                                                                      1. There's more to this even than the original post pointed out

                                                                                                                                                        " Mrs. Butterworth's " claim to fame was "The original buttered syrup," with 2% butter. That's how it was introduced and long advertised, and probably how most people grew up with it. A few years ago the butter, and the catch phrases, vanished (along with the product's claim to distinction from all the other commercial brown pancake syrups).

                                                                                                                                                        I actually liked the flavor of the traditional Mrs. Butterworth's (and used to improvise it from scratch at home sometimes), but it was distinct from maple syrup and wasn't marketed with any suggestion of maple, as I recall. This thread was the first indication to me of anyone thinking it was maple-based.

                                                                                                                                                        Cheap improvisation tips: Start with thin sugar syrup or diluted corn syrup (outside North America it's called "glucose syrup" and not made from corn, a word that also means something different outside NA). Flavor with (US) brown sugar, which gives a delicate molasses flavor, or use molasses sparingly. Add butter and a little _salt_ which adds savor. You can go far with such ingredients, and it costs almost nothing. You can also add real maple syrup, which extends it cheaply.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Maybe most ,50 plus years ago the MOM of a pal was making syrup for pancakes etc with simple syrup and maple flavor.Reason;cost was about .06 on the $ of Log Cabin.
                                                                                                                                                          When corn byproducts became so...cheap many more caught on to the absense of
                                                                                                                                                          'REAL MAPLE' in the bottle.
                                                                                                                                                          However the flip side is you may not like real maple syrup etc.I love the mouth feel and flavor and have 2 or 3 friends that find it too sweet ,with odd complexities.
                                                                                                                                                          We are who we are in the taste department

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                            dang, this thread is an oldie!

                                                                                                                                                            most folks who think the real deal is too sweet are using too much-- they are emulating the commercials for the fake stuff that just show people pouring a thick layer of corn goo on their cakes-- part of the beauty of real maple syrup is that you don't need a cup of the stuff on your plate. another nice thing to do with real maple is to simmer blueberries in it until the berries are soft, and use that berried syrup-- sweet and sour, yum.

                                                                                                                                                            weather was perfect for syruping up until this past week, now it's too warm. just cooking and bottling in msp, though i hear they are still tapping up north.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                              Not so sure,for many years I avoided? honey.All of the complex aromas were wonderful.Yet it was just too sweet.(almost painful) This is the density of sweetness
                                                                                                                                                              I most frequently hear ascribed to "pure maple syrup" from the folks that just won't use it . ..not so much about liking

                                                                                                                                                          2. I would have *suspected* such, but then it's been 40 years since we last had either of the cited brands. Just checked, and we have five different Maple Syrups, of several grades in either the 'fridge, or the pantry.

                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                            1. i haven't read the whole thread, but if you want to know where the fake maple flavor comes from, it is from fenugreek.

                                                                                                                                                              that was the "mysterious" odor wafting throughout manhattan in the past -- most recently a month or so ago -- from a nearby processing plant.

                                                                                                                                                              query: did log cabin or mrs. butterworth's EVER have real maple syrup?

                                                                                                                                                              i'm a real maple syrup fan (tyrader joe's has best prices, imo), but i sure love the ihop's butter pecan syrup -- esp. on their harvest grain and nut pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                              i grew up with cane syrup (on biscuits), and can't eat it these days -- it is just too strong.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                Any idea how much processing goes into turning fenugreek into artificial maple flavoring?

                                                                                                                                                                The 'artificial' paragraph in the Wiki article on maple syrup makes separate mentions of:

                                                                                                                                                                sotolon - C6H8O3, the major flavor compound in fenugreek seed, and present in a number of other foods

                                                                                                                                                                Mapleine - originated in 1905, first by Crescent Foods, now McCormick

                                                                                                                                                                other McCormick maple flavor (implied)

                                                                                                                                                                'a very strong commercial flavoring' made from fenugreek

                                                                                                                                                                Given the way Wiki is edited, it is unclear whether these are actually distinct products, or different ways of talking about the same thing. I don't know, for example, if the 1905 Mapline was based on fenugreek or not.

                                                                                                                                                                More on this and other compounds with 'burnt sugar notes' at:
                                                                                                                                                                http://www.leffingwell.com/burnt.htm
                                                                                                                                                                Other compounds on this list with caramel-maple notes: cyclotene and maple furanone (v. strong).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                  "query: did log cabin or mrs. butterworth's EVER have real maple syrup?"

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes. My mother related that when she was a child ('40s and '50s), Log Cabin was 50% maple syrup, until one year, when the price of maple syrup shot up, and they dropped it down to 5% or so. Of course, they never went back up. She remembers because after they reduced it, her parents started buying pure maple syrup and mixing it half and half with the LC (they didn't use the pure maple all the time because of cost).

                                                                                                                                                                2. It may be a good thing that many knowingly accept an artificial substitute for maple syrup. There's not enough of the genuine article to go around, similar to fake crab.
                                                                                                                                                                  As a kid, I got an allotment of syrup from a neighbor who cooked down a barrel of sap over the course of a weekend in exchange for my tapping trees and hauling buckets. I enjoyed drinking the delicious, clear sweet sap, also.
                                                                                                                                                                  The newest threat to maple trees is the emerald ash beetle. Baseball bats are traditionally made from ash, which is being decimated by the beetle, and maple is the replacement wood of choice. Maple bats break easily and fly all over the place, and MLB has a real safety problem.

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                    Boy, there are a lot of facts wrong in that post. Quebec had bumper crops in the early 2000's, and had to restrict sales and build up a 4.5 million gallon reserve to keep prices up. (As I noted in an earlier post, Quebec provides 80% of the world's maple syrup.) Because of extra cold springs which reduced sap flow, production has been down the last two years.

                                                                                                                                                                    Maple bats did not take off because of the ash beetle; they became popular when Barry Bonds used maple bats (which are harder than ash) to hit 73 homers in a season. The reason bats seem to break more often is players are requesting thinner and thinner handles so that the weight can be transferred to the barrel. A similar situation exists in hockey, where the increased use of fibre shafts (which are lighter in weight, and hence can increase stick and shot speed) has resulted in many more instances of sticks shattering. With so much money riding on contracts, players in both sports will do anything to get the slightest edge.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                                                      And people wonder why they can't afford real maple syrup: it's the Quebecois maple cartel!
                                                                                                                                                                      Hugo Chavez would be proud of you all.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                        Canada is regularly in trouble with various international trade organization because of our euphemistically named "marketing boards", whose purpose seems more to keep products off the market (and prices higher for farmers) than actually selling anything. The three worst offenders, IMHO, are the dairy, chicken/egg, and wheat boards. Dairy prices in Canada, especially for things like butter and cheese, are significantly higher here. Butter, for example, is $1.99/lb US in Buffalo; it's $3.29/lb Cdn (approx. $2.45/US) in Toronto. When my wife goes on her regular shopping trips to Buffalo, she'll come back with 10 lbs of butter, six dozen eggs ($0.99 US vs $1.79 Cdn), 25-50 lbs of flour, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        The Canada Wheat Board is especially vile; if you're a wheat farmer in Ontario or Quebec, you're free to sell your wheat anywhere at any price. However, if you farm west of the Ontario-Manitoba border, you MUST sell your wheat to the CWB, which despite its monopoly power and supposed ability to negotiate better prices, regularly provides farmers with prices 30-40% less than they could get in Minnesota or North Dakota.

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, yah, they're fine Canadian institutions which we're all immensely proud of. :{

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                                                          KB, about 3 years ago I bought a chunk of 5 year old cheddar from Quebec, no brand name, but it was by far the best I have ever had, the Holy Grail, and I haven't found it since. Perhaps some of your marketing gurus should find ways to get products on shelves rather than keep them off. Just my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                            As I said, "marketing board" is a euphemism. "Central planning committee for (eggs, milk, cheese, whatever)" is a more accurate term. Their concern is the prices received by producers; they really couldn't care less about what consumers get.

                                                                                                                                                                            I have a cottage in rural Quebec, and there's a local fromagerie nearby. I always stop by when coming in from Toronto, and on the way home, to stock up on honest cheese, made by a guy who cares about it, not some assembly line, shrink wrapped blandness. But I have to say that even in nearby Lacolle, Quebec (a small town about 2 miles north of the US border, with a population of less than 5,000), the grocery store stocks a cheese selection that puts most of the giant stores in Toronto to shame. It's the French culture, for sure. (As De Gaulle said "How can you govern a country with 246 types of cheese?".)

                                                                                                                                                                            And, to stay marginally on topic, I visited a local grocery today in Toronto, and checked out the syrup section. There were some house brands and "Old Tyme", which I suppose is the Canadian version of Log Cabin. One brand of President's Choice noted that it was "15% real maple syrup". But the real thing? Sold out completely, even at $9.99 Cdn for 375 ml (roughly $8 US/12.6 fl oz). I asked a stock boy, and he said that they couldn't keep the real thing in stock. Here's hoping for warm weather!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                                                        The fact that Quebec had bumper crops and a syrup reserve for several years is a separate issue from the one Veggo brings up re: there being enough pure maple syrup in the world to "go around" if everyone used it vs. the fake stuff. If you were to (hypothetically) replace the fake syrup used in North America with pure, I'm sure the demand would outstrip supplies, regardless of year-to-year production. In the US, at least, pure maple syrup is by far the exception, not the norm, both in restaurants and institutional settings, and in homes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                          if you look at the cultural history of maple syrup making, though:
                                                                                                                                                                          the farmers in vermont, new york state, etc. made (and in many cases still make) maple syrup out of economic necessity-- they seriously needed the cash bump in the early spring, in order to buy seed & livestock for the growing season. consequentially, these areas became well known for their syrup, despite having relatively few acres of maple forests. vermont farmers sell their syrup at a premium today. good for them.

                                                                                                                                                                          there are other areas of the country that have much bigger and richer maple forests (thinking especially of great lakes areas of MN, WI, IL). but the culture of syruping didn't necessarily move into these areas. lots of reasons for this. but there is a huge untapped (pun intended, har har) source of real maple syrup available. kinda frustrating to know there are trees around mille lacs with 8% sugar, going untapped.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                            In this light is interesting when people lament how little of the maple syrup sold in the US is US-produced (vs. Canadian). Clearly the US could produce much more if the existing sugar maples in other regions than NE were tapped.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Growing up in the midwest we made syrup by heating water and brown sugar but we just called it syrup, not maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I can remember when the Log Cabin label said it contained 15% maple syrup. That was probably in the 50's. I do see maple syrup listed on the Shoprite brand pancake syrup, but no % is given.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. The book 'Early Spring' by Amy Seidl, has an interesting chapter on Vermont forests, and sugar bush (sugar maple groves) in particular. Her perspective is both as an ecologist and a mother sharing the forest and seasons with her children. An extended excerpt of this can be found on Google books. It's a good read especially if all you know about New England woods is Robert Frost's poem (Stopping by the woods ...)..

                                                                                                                                                                          http://books.google.com/books?id=rD0n...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. As a kid growing up in Vermont in the early 60's, my Dad used to tap the maple trees in our back yard and in the woods around our house and boil it down into maple syrup. We knew there was that "fake stuff" in the grocery store, but it was never in our house. To this day I have never had anything but real maple syrup in my house.

                                                                                                                                                                            Back in the "old days" Vermont Maid syrup had 2% maple syrup in it, but now it is just "natural and artificial maple flavor," whatever that is.

                                                                                                                                                                            Fortunately, here in NY state they also produce the real thing and you can often buy it directly from the producers.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                              Hate, hate fake maple syrup. I can never order pancakes or waffles at a diner because of the disgusting stuff they serve with it. As a kid I went as far as bringing my own small bottle of maple syrup to sleep-away summer camp. I'm such a maple syrup snob :)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Yeah, you have to be really careful these days in U.S. supermarkets to not accidentally buy awful things.

                                                                                                                                                                              Also, check your major brands of peanut butter for soy oil. I understand some extract the peanut oil to sell it at a higher price elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. The first time I had real maple syrup I had a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                                                I realized I didn't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                I can't get into the flavor. It's not my thing. The artifically flavored dark corn syrup that I pour on my pancakes is just fine for me (particularly when it gets into the melted butter on the waffles), or else I like a nice fruit compote.

                                                                                                                                                                                It's just a taste preference. Maple syrup is too strong and weird. It took me years to admit to this because I'm supposed to like it better, but I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting. My revelation was that real maple syrup is very subtly flavoured. Even the darker grades taste much less "mapley" than artificial maple flavour. Most real maple syrups are also much less sweet than corn syrups.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                                    Has anyone seen a breakdown of the sugars in maple syrup? Earlier I found info on the flavor compounds that it shares with fenugreek and caramel flavors. I suspect the sugar mix is similar to other things that we consider sweet - a roughly equal balance of glucose and fructose, some bound togeter to form sucrose.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess I might have to give up my Canadian citizenship, because I have to admit I don't like maple syrup or maple flavoured syrup on my pancakes, waffles, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love maple in other dishes. I love maple candy, maple cookies, maple with salmon and I put a splash in my smoked salmon mousse. I just don't want it on my breakfast cakes. I prefer the non-maple flavoured pancake syrup or fruit sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm like Avalondaughter. I found out that Log Cabin syrup wasn't real maple syrup as a kid (I think from reading the label, although it's possible I heard it from someone). I couldn't wait to try bona fide 100% maple syrup. When I did, after paying what at the time seemed like a fortune for the small bottle, I was sorely disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never liked Mrs. Butterworth, despite desperately wanting to like it and multiple tries as a kid (those commercials were very effective!).

                                                                                                                                                                                      To this day I still prefer Log Cabin syrup or the colored corn syrup in the packets that come with McDonald's pancakes (err, hotcakes).

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                        Nothing wrong with that! I remember being shocked at the difference between maple (so much runnier!) and real also and at the time, I think I preferred maple-flavored (and loved Mrs. Butterworth's).
                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone remember Jonathan Winters as Mrs. Butterworth?
                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW, cane syrup is nice on pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                          i love jonathon winters!!! here is maude frickert... with a giant olive for dean martin! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfx4Sf...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I knew but as much as I like maple syrup, there was still a place for Mrs. Butterworth. I haven't had it in years, though, so I don't know if the recipe has changed or even if I'd still like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                        I guess I found it out here.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Did they ever - Aunt Jemima for example, back before she got a new do? - contain maple syrup?

                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy the real thing at Costco. It's not the same as maple syrup from Vermont, but it's not as expensive either.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Alaga Syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                        Did anybody here ever prefer Alaga syrup?
                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure exactly what it is, but my father (whose folks were from Alabama and Louisiana - although for all I know he could have picked up a liking for it in the service) swore by it. He always had a bottle of Alaga syrup for his pancakes while the rest of us had Log Cabin or some other brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                          I read this after my last post. I searched and it seems Alaga is a brand of cane syrup. I use Carson Ann, which is from ribbon cane but I imagine they're all delicious. Steen's seems to be really popular but the only one I've tried and can vouch for is Carson Ann.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the best way of describing cane syrup would be as an ultra-light molasses. It's quite wonderful and well worth a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                            I tried some Alaga "original cane flavor" syrup on my pancakes this morning. Now I remember why my father was the only one who used it. Yuch. It just has an off-taste to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Incidentally, the first ingredient on its list of ingredients is corn syrup, followed by cane syrup and water.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yecch. Carson Ann is pure ribbon cane syrup; I imagine you'd taste a difference between in and Alaga. I think Steen's is pure cane syrup, too, but not ribbon cane.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. As a kid, we always had sorghum syrup with pancakes. Didn't taste like maple syrup, but didn't taste like cane syrup either.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting that sorghum is the grain used to produce a lot of Chinese spirits.

                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                            I keep Maasdam's sorghum in the house; it's from Iowa and is nice with biscuits. There's a guy who produces a small amount of sorghum in upstate New York and he sells his product at the Greenmarket in Union Square. I bought some but haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                He says he's the only grower in the state! I think it's pretty cool that he's doing this.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                He's the one who sells sorghum cotton candy too, right? I think that's the same farmer who is also at Tucker Square greenmarket on Saturdays. I have not tried their syrup. I'll have to check it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I know the op started this thread in 07, but funny, I just inspected those labels for the first time myself recently...lol

                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nooyawka

                                                                                                                                                                                                I knew that most pancake syrups had little or no real maple syrup early on. Somebody mentioned Lyle's Golden Syrup upthread -- in our house, syrupy pancake topping of choice was Roger's Golden Sugar (from the local sugar refinery -- talk about sweet and viscous, woohoo). Second best was lemon juice and icing sugar, third was sour cream and Mum's pectin-free strawberry sauce, which I still make and use to this day. Why no maple syrup living in Canada, or even no fake maple syrup? Hated it, still do. No idea why. Just don't like the flavour of maple, nohow. When I was older, I discovered those "butter flavoured" syrups and thought they were great because they didn't taste like maple syrup (of course, they didn't taste like butter either!). Now it's all about that good ol' strawberry sauce, which freezes like a dream and somehow maintains the flavour of fresh berries, if not the texture. Hmm, I think I know what we're having for breakfast :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                  grayelf - care to share the strawberry sauce recipe? Sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: barb2007

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Voila! Funnily enough, Mum is making some as I type :-). Enjoy...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mum’s famous strawberry sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups strawberries whirled in blender
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 pkg Certo crystals
                                                                                                                                                                                                    6-8 cups sliced strawberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tsp lemon juice, optional

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine blended berries and sugar in saucepan. Slowly add Certo. Heat to full rolling boil and boil one minute. Cool slightly. Pour over sliced berries and combine. Put in containers and freeze. Works with peaches, cherries, raspberries or blueberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                      grayelf, can you clarify something for me? In your post above, you mention "Mum's pectin-free strawberry sauce," but I thought Certo was pectin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course it is. I should have put "low pectin" or something. I think the ratio of pectin to other ingredients is relatively low, as the resulting compound is very much a sauce. There is virtually no thickening which is what I like about it. My apologies for misleading y'all. I've probably lost all credibility here but please do try the recipe as it is worth the candle and v. tasty, pectin or no :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, no credibility lost with me, and no problem! I just wanted to be sure about what was called for because I like the looks of it and may consider it while strawberry season's in full swing. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're most welcome -- let us know what you think if you make it. Mum told me that because we've had almost no sun here this year the strawberries she used were more sour than usual so she upped the sugar a bit. I would agree based on the fresh ones we had on Sunday with her awesome strawberry shortcake (more of a biscuit than a cake but perfect with the berries and masses of freshly whipped cream -- no dinner needed that night!).

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I believe the ersatz versions of maple syrup are called "table syrup", which always left me wondering how many tables are required to produce a pint of syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've always heard it referred to as pancake syrup. Don't you dare put it on waffles!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking at the google images of 'table syrup', it appears the name has been applied to any syrup marketed for use at the dining table, as opposed to cooking. So someone might call an amber maple (A) table syrup, while thinking of a darker (B) one as cooking syrup. And not everyone tries to emulate maple syrup. This bear brand does not claim to have a maple flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL actually, Steen's makes a similar product for those who find pure cane syrup too intense. It's a different product altogether than ersatz maple syrup and pancake syrup--for one thing because it's not maple-flavored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The price of your maple syrup should be a dead give away on the type of "maple" syrup you are buying/using.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. If the first (and only) ingredient listed doesn't say 'pure maple". I don't buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a matter of taste. Some people only like a hint of maple and find pure maple syrup overpowering and/or too thin. Some people don't even like maple syrup--I saw a recipe in one of John Egerton's books for a syrup popular in Kentucky made from brown sugar, water, and butter that sounded wonderful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used to really love Mrs. Butterworth's when I was a kid (Charlie Weaver and Jonathan Winters might have had something to do with it) but I suspect I wouldn't now. Didn't it used to actually contain butter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                            True, it is a matter of taste. It's just that the packaging is purposely misleading. One has to read the ingredients to know what's inside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think it's misleading. I'm 56 and pancake syrup has been labeled "pancake syrup" for as long as I can remember. I DO seem to recall, now that coll has mentioned it, that Log Cabin actually contained some maple syrup when I was a kid. That was what my family bought until Mrs. Butterworth's showed up, and even that was just for me. Ours was a Log Cabin household--I didn't even like pure maple syrup until I was much older.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I first met my husband, I had real maple syrup because we had family up by Vermont. He was horrified and said he needed Log Cabin. Guess what, when we moved 10 years later, I threw out that unopened bottle of Log Cabin. He changed his mind quick enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                PS I'm 56 too! but luckily grew up on the real thing. Maple sugar candy included. My Mom bought Log Cabin when my relatives didn't ship her her fix in time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was a s l o w learner where maple syrup was concerned. However, now that you mention it, there was never a time that I didn't like maple sugar candy. Of course, it had to be in cute shapes because that was part of the charm. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Years ago, my Mom and her group of friends would dress up an empty Mrs. Butterworth's bottle to celebrate any occasion - a wedding, a trip to Hawaii, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And their favorite saying was: "But what would Mrs. Butterworth think?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, and they liked their wine, LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have known this for a long time. I just e-mailed Log Cabin to ask them if their product was ever (a) _all_ pure maple syrup, or (b) _any_ pure maple syrup. We used it when I was a kid, but things weren't automatically fake thenadays, so it would never have occured to me to wonder. I'll post Log Cabin's answer if I get one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LCS was the creation of a Minnesota grocer 120 years ago. It is not, nor ever was, the creation of a New England maple syrup producer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.logcabinsyrups.com/about.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                              repeatedly uses the phrase 'maple tasting syrup', not, 'maple syrup'. Notice also that brand is now owned by a national company with many other brands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              When you were a kid, the the LCS soak into the pancakes right away, or was it too thick for that? True maple syrup is thin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Somebody left a bottle here and I just looked at it. It's labeled Log Cabin Syrup. Also labeled 'no high fructose corn syrup.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Log Cabin used to be 2%, I'm talking years ago, I think it's 0% now though. It was the only non maple syrup that did have a bit of the real stuff, and that was their claim to fame. It didn't used to be so easy to get the real stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought it's claim to fame was the log cabin bottles :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I doubt if I could taste the maple flavor if I added 2% maple syrup to a sugar and corn based syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I was a kid, I don't remember it in anything but a specific type of glass bottle with a label that had a picture of a...guess what (very rustic it was, too). In fact, here's the packaging I grew up on: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h... (the 12 oz. bottle, not the bicentennial). The tins were before my time but I think I remember my mom telling me that they were around when she was little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. everytime i pick up my baggie of fenugreek (MUST PUT IN JAR), i get a whiff of "maple" -- and think of this thread, and the period when manhattanites were baffled by that odd odor wafting over their city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Unfortunately most people do not read the ingredients of a product before they purchase it. I don't spend a penny until I know what I am buying. Even if I wanted to buy a product containing HFCS, I will know that it contains HFCS by reading the ingredients. If I want maple syrup, the ingredients should list one ingredient only- maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am from Quebec, Canada, where they make the real stuff. I had the log cabin in a restaurant one day and couldn't eat it -- YUUUUCK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I think I knew that the real stuff existed, but my parents were too cheap to buy even the fake stuff. For us it was syrup my mom made with some awful substance called "Mapleine". Still around, apparently. On the bright side, our syrup was hot, long before there were microwaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My first taste of real maple syrup was in eighth grade. Our homeroom teacher, a native New Englander, asked the class how many of us had tasted the real thing. Many students didn't even know there were "real" and "fake" versions. Miss Ostendorf brought in a jar the next day, and got teaspoons for everyone so we all could have a taste. So popular that someone ran to to the cafeteria for another set of spoons for seconds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I moved out into my first apartment, real maple syrup was probably my first luxury item.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mom used Mapleine, because neither maple syrup nor Log Cabin were available. Mapleine is a maple like flavoring, derived largely from the spice fenugreek. If you have some of that in your spice cabinet, you might detect that maple smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_sy...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        very interesting, i had never heard of Mapleine until you mentioned it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            interesting- learned a lot today :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My dad is something of a food snob, and fake syrup was one of the things that was outlawed in our house (along with processed cheese, unnatural peanut butter and boxed cake mix). Even though we were quite poor for a number of years, out fridge was always stocked with real maple syrup. I'm not sure how they did it, actually, although I do remember strict regulations regarding how much we were allowed to use on our pancakes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          we have our priorities regardless of socioeconomic status; your dad just had his priorities straight ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. There is a scene in the low budget movie Super Troopers where two of the macho Vermont State troopers are in a cafe chug a lugging jugs of Maple Syrup. It's hilarious!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I grew up on Log Cabin and Aunt Jemima and knew nothing about "real" Maple Syrup. With a family of 5 kids Maple syrup would have cost more than the mortgage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thankfully I can afford the real thing. I buy it at the wharehouse clubs and it tastes just as good as the gourmet offerings, I.M.H.O.!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We had six kids, but luckily we also had relatives upstate that kept us supplied with gallons of homemade maple syrup and different flavor honeys. Although I remember Log Cabin also being stocked in our fridge for everyday, I don't think you could even buy the real stuff down here then. If we weren't so lucky, I'd have been like my husband and thought Log Cabin was as good as it gets! (I did convert him pretty quickly though)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Would you purchase a Maple Syrup that does contain 10% real maple syrup and agave syrup?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ifernandez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No. Maple syrup comes from maple sap. Not from an agave plant.