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Maple Syrup? Availability? Price?

We have an annual task that takes us past our favourite producer south of Tara in Bruce County, Ontario - roughly across Lake Huron from Michigan's thumb. I mention this to give some context of climate as our seasons roughly correspond.

As I suspected, this mild winter has cut into production. Severely. Mr. Howard informed me that production had been ended for some time and that he had realized half of normal production.

We bought two imperial quarts of #2 Amber (Grade B U.S.?) at $18 each. That was the last of his quarts for the year. We were reduced to buying a pint of the same for my sister at $12. Little remained, the rest had shipped to market.

We normally buy more about mid summer but I doubt any stock will remain even of the other grades.

How does this compare elsewhere?

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  1. here in MA production started and ended early, good availability.
    I have no idea of and don't care about price.

    1. We pay $5.49/lb for bulk grade b.

      1. We paid $10 for 16 oz (I think but maybe it was a bit more) for A grade amber but (and this is probably important) it was from a farmer selling it at an educational demonstration. I am in PA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cleobeach

          I just checked the cap, which is marked US Grade A Medium Amber, 16 oz bottle

        2. Maple syrup season was extremely short this year. A young friend who produces syrup said he got less than half of what he would get in a normal year. It started suddenly and ended just as suddenly. As far as I can see, he hasn't increased his prices to reflect the shortage, however. I paid about $23 for a litre - I bought 6 litres in anticipation of not being able to get any local syrup later in the year.

          1. Uh oh. Think I'll stock up on my favorite: Coomb's grade b amber. Thx for the heads up.

            1. It probably needs to be mentioned here that, contrary to common thought, grade B maple syrup is the better quality version. Grade A is of lesser flavor/quality.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sandylc

                Not so simple as that. The grading is done by colour, not flavour. So depending on the producer, the year, the method of production, the flavour will vary a great deal. Many people prefer "amber" or "medium" grade syrup because it can have a stronger maple flavour. But sometimes it can also taste a bit off if the sap was held too long before evaporating or if it was late season (buddy) sap. The syrups that consistently win awards are usually "light" - and this is because light syrup has a very pure, but delicate, maple flavour and light colour. The whole thing is personal preference and even though you may like the darker syrup from one producer in one year, you may prefer a lighter syrup another time. For cooking purposes, the delicacy of light syrup is generally lost so that's where a darker syrup is almost always a better choice.

              2. minnesota here. an absolute crap syruping year. my mom cooked this past week. a neighboring farmer had such a low sap yield he didn't even bother to cook, he just froze the sap and gave it to them to cook, so my mom had a little bit more than she thought she would, but still it was apparently quite pathetic, i'm afraid.

                2 Replies
                1. re: soupkitten

                  We are in Western NY. I haven't heard whether the crop was good or bad this year. We just bought a gallon of syrup from a local producer. It was $49.

                  Sandylc where do you find your Grade B? I have trouble finding it here.

                  1. re: soupkitten


                    From Anderson's Sugaring Season 2012:

                    "March 20th
                    Mother nature has finally got the best of us, as our trees are starting to bud here, effectively ending our 2012 season. It looks like we'll end up with about a 1/4 of a crop, and while there are exceptions, this seems to be consistent with most producers throughout the state. We were hoping for another blast of cold weather, and while that may still come at some point, we've had too many warm days now to get any more good sap.

                    For additional information, check out the article below that ran in the March 19th issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin maple producers endure worst year in memory. "


                  2. Low production in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia as well. I am stocking up as our local producers will run out fast.