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About No. 3 maple syrup... again! Made in Quebec but no sold here?

HealingBlu Oct 14, 2008 05:54 PM

I'm in Montreal only for a day more. I spent the whole day hunting for No. 3 dark maple syrup and no one seems to have it . I checked out the IGA in Complexe Desjardins and Atwater and they have only the No. 1 medium as the darkest.

I saw some organic No. 3 dark ones in Vancouver when I was there last week (I'm travelling through from Europe and went to Vancouver first). I saw a shop in Granville Island that sells a brand called L.B.Mapletreat that makes maple syrup in all grades from Quebec. I called the head office in Vancouver and found out that although they make the syrups in Quebec, the company does not have a distributor in Quebec. Go figure. Made in Quebec but not sold in Quebec!

So where oh where can I find No 3 dark maple syrup in Montreal? Jean Talon area? Where?
Any help appreciated !


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  1. kpzoo RE: HealingBlu Oct 14, 2008 06:52 PM

    Check out the Marché des Saveurs at the Jean-Talon market, they have a huge array of maple syrup of different grades. It's in the southeast corner.

    FYI, you may want to check out the provincial syrup grades - scroll down here: http://www.siropderable.ca/Afficher.a...

    Not sure you'll be able to find what's called "Dark" here - according to this, "The provincial regulations require that Dark maple syrup be used only for industrial purposes."

    3 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo
      HealingBlu RE: kpzoo Oct 15, 2008 07:37 AM

      Thank you. I will try that place this morning.

      "Dark" is classified as No. 3 grade. I don't know it to be used for 'industrial' purposes only as I have bought many in Vancouver at local organic supermarkets when I lived there. I just found it ironic that I can't seem to find it in Montreal when the stuff is tapped from the trees in Quebec!

      1. re: HealingBlu
        kpzoo RE: HealingBlu Oct 15, 2008 08:15 AM

        There are usually some maple-syrup stands throughout the market as well - you could ask one of the producers directly what the deal is with those darker grades. Report back if you find out anything!

      2. re: kpzoo
        Paphos.SK RE: kpzoo Oct 16, 2008 06:04 PM

        My last trip to the Marché des Saveurs at the Jean-Talon market, (we visited Quebec in September) was especially to buy gifts to take home. Guess what?

        I looked carefully at the labels and there were a number of "Made in the USA" origins for the maple syrup products!
        So be careful what you choose. I'm not saying all the maple syrup was American but I sure didn't see a division of the provincial products from imported.

        If HealingBlu is headed to Quebec City, I can recommend a traditional grocers that carried a lot or nice Quebec maple products: J.A. Moisan's,

      3. b
        BLM RE: HealingBlu Oct 15, 2008 09:19 AM

        The 'only' place in Montreal where I have found the No 3 dark maple syrup is the Canadian Maple Delights establishment in Old Montreal(I have looked & looked looked everywhere). It's located at 84 St-Paul East. They don't always have it, as almost all the dark syrup maple syrup are destined for industrial purposes from what I've heard. Kpzoo suggested Marche des Saveurs, but I've never seen the No 3 dark maple syrup grade there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: BLM
          HealingBlu RE: BLM Oct 15, 2008 10:58 AM

          Hi BLM, thanks for the info but I did go to the Canadian maple Delights in Old montreal and they don't have it either. Plus all the other syrups there seemed to be packaged for tourists ie it costs more than at regular shops.

          I did go to marche des saveurs this morning and yep, they DON'T have it ! Not the No 3 dark ones anyway. The closest I can get is the No 2 Amber which will do for now.

          Apparently Quebec sells only the No 2 Amber as 'dark' and the real 'dark' syrups are all exported to other parts of the country but not Quebec!

          1. re: HealingBlu
            kpzoo RE: HealingBlu Oct 15, 2008 11:56 AM

            Sorry you didn't find what you're looking for! Perhaps other provinces don't have the law that Quebec does vis-a-vis that grade. (i.e. the one I got from the maple-syrup producers' site that says: "The provincial regulations require that Dark maple syrup be used only for industrial purposes.")

            1. re: HealingBlu
              BLM RE: HealingBlu Oct 15, 2008 11:59 AM

              All the Canadian Maple Delights maple syrup is organic(that would at least partly explain the higher cost). I previously asked them if they carry No. 3 Dark maple syrup(above is what they told me).

          2. h
            HealingBlu RE: HealingBlu Oct 17, 2008 01:12 AM

            Hi again. To make things more confusing..., I found out that the US, Canada and Quebec have different standards in grading maple syrup!

            I ended up with Quebec No 2 Amber which is supposed to be the same as US Grade B. US Grade C is also considered to be Grade B ! But No 3 Dark exists - just not in Quebec. This can be found in far flung regions like Ontario !

            But I heard that 2008 was a bad producing year and hence many places have run out of stock!

            1. u
              UK Maple RE: HealingBlu Nov 13, 2008 11:01 PM

              So you think you have problems. While I was in Toronto last year I filled a suitcase of Grade 3 organic Maple Syrup bought at the 'Big Carrot'. I gave most away as presents to family. One year on and we still suffer withdrawal symptoms as it's impossible to find anything even resembling this grade of maple syrup in the UK!

              1. g
                grillit RE: HealingBlu Nov 14, 2008 10:09 AM

                I think we've discussed this here before, but my memory is drawing a blank.
                I've heard of people going to the ends of the earth for dark/lower grade maple syrup. Can someone please explain to me why? The lower grades (federal grade 3 & qc grade 2) are permitted to have flavourings, sap, and caramel added. Why would that be desirable? A family friend runs a small organic sugar farm, and he goes to great lengths to produce high grade syrup that's as light/clear as possible.

                From my understand, the syrup does get darker as the season progresses, but the quality syrup is still rated as category 1. Please forgive my ignorance since it seems obvious to some people - but why exactly are lower grades better?

                2 Replies
                1. re: grillit
                  Limin RE: grillit Jan 24, 2009 04:00 PM

                  The darker, lower grades are cheaper so if you are planning to use it instead of sugar in your kitchen, the price is more tolerable. Some people also say it is more flavourful. I don't know yet....because I can't seem to find it. There is a health food store in Toronto that sells the lower grades (Bathurst and St. Clair area).

                  1. re: Limin
                    ttornetta RE: Limin Mar 6, 2009 08:54 AM

                    The "lower grades" do not actually allow additives, although they are described as having "flavors" of caramel, licorice, buds, etc. Canada No. 3 is not authorized for sale in small containers (=non-industrial) in Quebec, but it is elsewhere in Canada (see http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/f...).

                    I also found this info helpful in making sense of the various grading distinctions across the two borders: http://www.christiesmaplefarm.com/FAQ...
                    although they quote the less-common "AA" for Canada No. 1, "A" for Canada No. 2 and "B" for Canada No. 3.

                    P.S. I'm new to the boards so please forgive me if the links aren't live!

                2. a
                  Arktik RE: HealingBlu Mar 6, 2009 11:49 AM

                  A little off topic but Loblaws is selling organic maple syrup for about $4 a can this week.
                  (down from the usualy $10)

                  And a little on topic, I have also heard that the dark stuff is not in fact more maple-y but has a deeper flavour because the suar is allowed to caramelize. I don't know where exactly i heard that though...

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Arktik
                    mammab RE: Arktik Mar 6, 2009 12:24 PM

                    Be careful. The syrup selling at Loblaw's for $4 is NOT Maple syrup . I nearly flipped when I saw it, but it is a ``Syrup``... not pure maple syrup. If I recall correctly it has several things added to it such as corn syrup. The packaging looks almost identical to Pure Maple Syrup. And the word òrganic`is misleading. Unfortunately the real stuff is still $10...but maybe this will be a better year.

                    1. re: mammab
                      Arktik RE: mammab Mar 6, 2009 03:11 PM

                      Wow, i justed pulled out the flyer, and you are so right...i've been duped! Strange that it has the eco-cert logo on it, i guess the corn syrup is organic as well....thanks!

                      1. re: Arktik
                        everyonelovessushi RE: Arktik Mar 6, 2009 06:43 PM

                        I got duped too. My wife took a look at the can and basically said WTF (in more polite terms of course). I'm stupid for buying it but it's being produced and marketed to fool people. The company, and Loblaws, are dishonest in their intent and I hope everyone who's been duped lets both of them know they're not happy. Not to mention it gives a bad name to organic products, which is a shame.

                    2. re: Arktik
                      lagatta RE: Arktik Mar 7, 2009 05:10 AM

                      I've also seen that at a small fruiterie-dépanneur near here, and the shop had a sign up advertising it as "sirop d'érable". True, it doesn't say "sirop d'érable anywhere on the packaging, but it is in exactly the same type of tin and strikes me as a deceitful marketing practice. Loblaws should be ashamed. A company as big as that doesn't have to practise misleading advertising for its weekly loss-leader.

                      1. re: lagatta
                        mammab RE: lagatta Mar 7, 2009 11:54 AM

                        The biggest insult to us Quebecers , people who know maple syrup and take it seriously,
                        is that they had the imposter on a display to look like a cabane a sucre. It had all maple products there like maple fudge, flakes, muffins etc. Don't feel bad about being duped, I almost was too. But my inner voice said, "$4!!??? Read the label, put it down". We aren't lame, Loblaw's and Provigo are lame for trying to dupe the public.

                        1. re: mammab
                          emerilcantcook RE: mammab Mar 7, 2009 01:10 PM

                          i suggest you guys return the product and complain. They have a 14 day return policy with receipt.

                      2. re: Arktik
                        Maximilien RE: Arktik Mar 8, 2009 02:11 PM

                        ingredients : organic rice syrup, organic evaporated cane syrup, water, organic maple syrup, maple syrup flavor, caramilized sugar syrup...

                        tasty ...

                        1. re: Maximilien
                          Campofiorin RE: Maximilien Mar 9, 2009 06:37 AM

                          I saw someone putting 4 cans in their cart at Maxi and remembered reading this post and went to look for it but couldn't. I'm happy I didn't because I saw l'Épiecerie saturday afternoon and that's when I found out the list of ingedients. That being said, they said that teh taste was surprisingly good. I'm still gonna pass on it though. My aunt's family owns a sugar shack near Matane and I get my gallon every year. I'll just wait for it.

                      3. superbossmom RE: HealingBlu Mar 10, 2009 06:42 AM

                        There's an article in la Presse about it, the syrup is sold out, and they've had many complaints about it. The rice syrup is from Pakistan, the cane syrup from Bresil, the 5% pure maple syrup gives it a decent taste apparently.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: superbossmom
                          mammab RE: superbossmom Mar 10, 2009 11:48 AM

                          I just got back from my local Provigo and on the maple syrup display are huge signs (In both languages), that state that "This product is a by product of Maple Syrup". I'm not sure if that's what I'd call it, but a little article in La Presse, a story on CJAD and lo and behold , they`re not trying to dupe any more people!

                        2. s
                          syrupsnob RE: HealingBlu Nov 4, 2009 08:04 PM

                          This is one hard syrup to find indeed! If anyone knows a source please post! the company when I talked to them in 2007, told me that though produced in eastern Canada, it is mostly sold in western Canada, and none of their Organic products are exported to the USA....dratz! ;( I bought my original bottle in a health food shop in Calgary, and have had friends who travel bring some back. Dark syrup withdrawals are horrible. Anything lighter, B or A grade, or No1 or No2 is just light, flavorless, and sugary, the No 3 is exquisite!


                          1. m
                            Mr F RE: HealingBlu Mar 6, 2010 12:28 PM

                            I don't know if it's the exact grade you dark-syrup fans are after, but there is dark syrup at one of the Jean Talon Market stalls today (March 6/2010). The man told me it was more strongly flavoured and more viscous than the other grades. And it is definitely not medium or amber, because the same stand has those too. It is not labelled no. 1, 2, 3 or AAA, AA, etc., just FONCÉ.

                            Although I almost always find lighter grades more appealing (though came across some Extra Clair last year that was just too thin), I bought a can of this dark stuff just to see if those who prefer it are on to something.

                            The stand in question is indoors. If you stand in the new section facing west and looking down the line of produce stands in the old section, it's the first stand on your left.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Mr F
                              S tanita RE: Mr F Apr 21, 2010 04:44 PM

                              Helo Mr. F

                              Like you, I have found success at Jean Talon Market in finding dark ("fonce" ) syrup. You just have to wander around a bit to find a stand that has it.

                              1. re: S tanita
                                lambretta76 RE: S tanita Apr 30, 2010 07:40 AM

                                Picked up some last weekend at JTM - at the outside vendor across from the the coffee shop on the south side of the market. Name of the place was Erabliere France & Rene Lussier, from St-Damase, QC

                            2. k
                              kpaxonite RE: HealingBlu Mar 6, 2010 12:40 PM

                              what are the industrial uses?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kpaxonite
                                Mr F RE: kpaxonite Mar 6, 2010 01:42 PM

                                Flavourings for those mass-produced maple leaf cookies, Aunt Jemima-type syrups (typically corn syrup with a small percentage of real maple syrup). That sort of thing.

                              2. c
                                celfie RE: HealingBlu Jun 7, 2010 07:57 PM

                                9 cans of #3 at PA on du Parc right now
                                on top of the honey section
                                I hid 2 for any desperate hounds behind some honey on te bottom chef - to the left

                                1. j
                                  joneshauser RE: HealingBlu Nov 16, 2010 07:34 PM

                                  No 3 Syrup for all intensive purposes has the most flavour. Living here on the West Coast in Vancouver we have the 3 Grades No. 1 No.2 and No. 3. No. 3 states that its for cooking and baking however I think it has the richest flavour and out does the lighter amber No. 1 and No.2 Maple Syrup. It's available at Choices Market and a number of other fine food stores like Whole Foods.
                                  I feel for those individuals in England as when I travel back to Ontario each summer to see family and hang at the lake I take a few bottles to enjoy with family and friends.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: joneshauser
                                    Mr F RE: joneshauser Nov 17, 2010 06:40 AM

                                    It's a matter of taste. Yellowtail shiraz arguably has "more" flavour than a fine Burgundy, but that obviously doesn't make it better.

                                    I've enjoyed some dark syrups lately and do appreciate their more intense and stereotypically "maple-y" flavour, but for my money you still can't beat a good no 1. Clair (light).

                                    And contrary to conventional (and industry) wisdom, the lighter grades arguably give more pleasing results in cooking. Consider a pouding chômeur recipe that calls for a half litre of syrup and a half litre of cream in a dessert that serves 4-6. The mixture spends about 20 minutes in a very hot oven, leading to further caramelization, reduction and intensification of flavours.

                                    So why not start out with something relatively subtle, instead of the stuff that's already "big" in its raw form?

                                    That's why I'm starting to think darker grades are better for pancakes etc., while lighter grades may be better for cooking.

                                  2. q
                                    Querencia RE: HealingBlu Nov 16, 2010 07:37 PM

                                    I bought in cans at Jean-Talon market.

                                    1. w
                                      weasel RE: HealingBlu Apr 8, 2011 01:20 PM

                                      Sorry to revive this old thread, but has anyone seen any No. 3 dark maple syrup anywhere this year?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: weasel
                                        celfie RE: weasel Apr 8, 2011 03:44 PM


                                        1. re: weasel
                                          joneshauser RE: weasel Apr 8, 2011 06:20 PM

                                          If you are on the West Coast in Canada it is very easy to find in stores like Choices or Capers. On the East Coast I'm not sure. We always travel back to Ottawa in the summer and I always make sure to bring a litre or 2 of #3 syrup. If live in either Montreal or Ottawa area I'd be happy to transport some back.

                                        2. Moedelestrie RE: HealingBlu Jul 3, 2011 09:46 AM

                                          When I lived in Montreal I remember getting dark amber from Le Capitaine the egg man in JTM. We had an excellent year here for the production of maple syrup in Northern Vermont and southern Quebec but the season was very, very late. This may in fact be the reason for your inability to find the darker grades as it is even later than the main season and the producers would have moved on to other tasks by the time the darker grades were running.
                                          We lucked out because our friend started very late and brought us very dark syrup. Maple sap is collected when the day time temperatures are above freezing and the night time temperature drops to between 5and 10 below. Here in Stanstead our spring carnival occurs after the harvest but this year the sap was just beginning to run at carnival time and at a time many were saying we would have a very small production year. We had a great year but because the distribution network is date dependant it wasn't shipped out. We have lots of syrupin all grades but with the cost of gas and Montreal bridge traffic the big city is moving further and further away.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Moedelestrie
                                            Mr F RE: Moedelestrie Jul 4, 2011 06:51 AM

                                            When the OP asked the question three years ago, it was almost impossible to find anything darker than "No. 1 Ambré", at least in the city. Not true anymore. For example, many of the syrup vendors at JTM had ungraded "Foncé" this spring and some had it marked "No. 2 Foncé". There may even be some left. (No signs of no. 3 as requested, however -- don't know if the ungraded dark is what they were looking for.)

                                            It may have something to do with the kind of season it was, but I suspect the change is mostly due to rising demand for the darker grades. Don't remember ever seeing "Foncé" openly sold at the market before last year, and this year there seemed to be many more people selling it, in greater quantity.

                                          2. w
                                            weasel RE: HealingBlu Mar 3, 2014 08:50 PM

                                            Sorry to revive this old thread, but has anyone seen any No. 3 dark maple syrup anywhere this year?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: weasel
                                              ScoobySnacks20 RE: weasel Mar 4, 2014 05:45 AM

                                              Try the stand outside at Atwater market. They had 6 grades available last year. Do remember that the dark stuff comes at the end of the season, so anything you buy today would be from last year's production.

                                              1. re: ScoobySnacks20
                                                frogsteak RE: ScoobySnacks20 Mar 4, 2014 07:31 AM

                                                they sell the stuff every year at PA

                                                1. re: ScoobySnacks20
                                                  weasel RE: ScoobySnacks20 Mar 6, 2014 06:45 PM

                                                  I tried that Atwater stand tonight, and the PA in Laval. No luck.

                                                  1. re: weasel
                                                    Mr F RE: weasel Mar 7, 2014 06:04 AM

                                                    It's too early for this year's syrup. In 3 or 4 weeks you should have lots of options at all of the markets. Judging by what I see at Jean Talon I don't think anyone has produced anything yet this year, not surprising given the weather.

                                              2. Moedelestrie RE: HealingBlu Mar 7, 2014 06:50 AM

                                                i am sorry to disappoint I get my almost black maple syrup from my next door neighbour. Yesterday I took a visitor to the tasting center in downtown Newport Vermont. They sell four grade of syrup from grade A clear medium and amber and a grade B dark amber.
                                                Quebec's farm marketing boards have made life much better for Quebec's farm families but sometimes consumers must knock on neighbours doors to get specific products.
                                                I am happy to be sending a visitor back to South America with sample packs of four grades of maple syrup to decide for themselves which grade is best. I feel badly the syrup is not from Quebec but it is local.

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