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Aug 8, 2007 06:00 AM

really good mail-order Canadian maple syrup?


I'd like to send some really good maple syrup as a thank you gift to a relative who loves it (and who may know a fair bit about the subject). I'm not from Canada, though, so my confidence in this area is not all that high. And I've heard that there are lots of so-so syrups that are marketed specifically to "tourists" who are just like me and don't know any better . . . . Can anyone recommend some really good syrups for pancakes, waffles, etc. (and, possibly, some that can be sent by mail to the US)?

Thanks and best regards, littlebear

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  1. I'm a lifelong Canadian and I've never really heard of any "inferior" quality syrups. There are no well-known "brands" or suppliers of syrup.

    There is an official government classification system in use, as follows:
    Canada No. 1: (extra light, light, medium)
    Canada No. 2: (amber)
    Canada No. 3: (dark)

    However I imagine that the No. 2 and No. 3 grades would be reserved for use as ingredients in commercial baking etc. and anything offered for sale to the consumer for use as table syrup would be No. 1. Right now in at home I have No. 1 Medium and it's delicious. My whole life I've never paid attention to this system, I only just looked it up now out of curiosity after reading your post.

    My only advice is to find a website that offers "100% pure maple syrup" (i.e. nothing artificial) and will ship to the USA. Can't recommend a specific company or brand as there really aren't any. Hope this helps!

    3 Replies
    1. re: egon61

      There is organic maple syrup sold - but i couldnt tell you if it tastes any different. It takes me so long to use it (5 years or so), that by the time im done with one bottle, i've completely forgotten what the other tastes like.

      1. re: yen

        yen - I'd be surprised if most maple syrup isn't organic. Not much payback in fertilizing or using pesticides in a forest. My parents own a bunch of otherwise useless land in Ontario and some guy taps the trees every year, in trade he keeps them supplied with syrup. Whenever I go home, I bring back a couple of litres. No idea where it would fall on the classification scale, but it is yummy.

      2. re: egon61

        I actually prefer #2. It has the most flavour. #3 is too bitter. #1 is too bland (although I have found good #1 on very rare occasion - but it's a real crapshoot).

        Hmm, I think I buy too much maple syrup.

      3. For charm's sake, you could order some directly from a maple farm (érablière) in Québec, where most of the world's maple syrup is produced.

        As for tourist maple syrup traps, I would avoid those decorative bottles shaped like maple leaves, beavers, etc. only because you'd mostly be paying for the bottle. But you probably already knew that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: aktivistin

          Thanks everyone--I really don't know anything about maple syrup (not about the classification system or about Quebec maple farms or even avoiding the decorative bottles). So, I'm off to a much, much better start than I was a few days ago!
          Thanks again!
          Best wishes, little bear

        2. The advice you got was on the money. As a lifelong Canadian as well, Dark #3 is best for cooking as far as I can see, I use it for that. Makes great candy tossed in snow, though. (been awhile since I lived near snow.)
          The only danger I have run into is the same as say, Vanillia. The bottle will say:
          MAPLE SYRUP added (like a couple of splashes?) just buy 100% Maple Syrup