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Thread: Is All "Maple Syrup" Pure Maple Syrup?

  1. #1
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    Default Is All "Maple Syrup" Pure Maple Syrup?

    A friend currently residing in Pennsylvania received some maple syrup as a gift and asked me about it because she said it does not taste like what she remembers New York (where she is from) or Vermont maple syrup tasting like.

    I seem to remember hearing or reading that not all states require "maple syrup" to be entirely maple syrup like Vermont and I think New York do, so I said maybe it is only "mostly" maple... but I'm not sure.

    So, can you all from other states give me the scoop? I'm a Vermonter who just uses Pure Vermont Maple Syrup! If I walked into a Kroger supermarket in whatever state you find those in, and bought Ohio or Pennsylvania or Illinois maple syrup, is it in fact maple syrup in its entirety? Are you all putting other sugar into your maple syrup? Can one discern from the label in some way whether there is other sugar in it?

    I'm hoping someone can set the record straight!

  2. #2
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    If you're in Ohio and buying Maple Syrup it should be 100% pure Maple. If not the label, should indicate that.

    WARNING:: Once you've tasted Ohio Maple, nothing else will come close.
    John Allin

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  3. #3
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    Smile

    If you want to be sure then buy the one labeled, "Pure Maple Syrup". Like Johnallin said, anything added must be on the Label as an ingredient. As to the question, are we adding sugar? NO, ABSOLUTELY NO AND HELL NO! Anyone doing that and lableing it Maple syrup should be deported to some remote island. I think I speak for most when I say we take great pride in making and all natural pure product. Now, there are store bought syrups that say Maple Flavored, but they aren't Maple Syrup.

    One final note, Maple Syrup can have a wide range of flavors. Syrup from one area may taste distinctly different. Using red Maples over sugar Maples will make a different flavor. Still Johnallin is correct, the very best comes from Ohio!
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  4. #4
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    No 2 batches of Maple syrup will taste identical, even with the same trees. Flavor changes throughout the season and from producer to producer. All states can make great maple syrup but until you have some form Wisconsin you won't know how good it can be.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnallin View Post
    If you're in Ohio and buying Maple Syrup it should be 100% pure Maple. If not the label, should indicate that.
    https://mapleresearch.org/pub/maplesyrupstandards-2/

    Anything labeled as "pure maple syrup" must be just that, no additional sugars added. We've tested a lot of syrups over the years, and adulteration by addition of other sugars is not at all common. Tests are available now to check for this fairly easily and even a small quantity of other types of sugar is readily detectable.

    The main difference is that in some states grading of maple syrup is required, whereas in other states it is optional. So, if you buy "pure maple syrup" one time and then go back (even to the same place), you might get a totally different grade of syrup...there is no way to be certain. You might get what "would" be classified a "Golden/Delicate" syrup on one trip and a "Very Dark/Strong" the next time, but both would be legitimately labeled as "Pure Maple Syrup".

    If you walk into a Kroger or Costco or another big chain, most likely you're getting syrup from a packer in VT/NH/Quebec and it is labeled with a Grade and Class (and country of origin). They tend not to pack for individual places (states or provinces), but for huge regions, so they label according to the most restrictive standards in the area the sales will take place in. Before people jump in to say that syrup in those big chains all tastes like crap, I've tasted many...some are bad, some are quite good, most are pretty much OK. Then again, I've tasted a lot of syrup from producers too....generally the results are the same, some are bad, some are good, most are pretty much OK.

    However, if people in those states that aren't required to grade choose to grade, they must use ALL the grading criteria. They can't pick and choose which to abide by. It's an "all or none" type thing.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 01-31-2023 at 08:03 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    https://mapleresearch.org/pub/maplesyrupstandards-2/

    ... Then again, I've tasted a lot of syrup from producers too....generally the results are the same, some are bad, some are good, most are pretty much OK...
    Rather than OK...they could be Awesome -If they were using a Clear Press... let the season begin <grin>
    D@mn, I told myself no...but couldn't pass it up.
    John Allin

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    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
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    7th Gen Born in Canada - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World..<grin>.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sapper View Post
    No 2 batches of Maple syrup will taste identical, even with the same trees. Flavor changes throughout the season and from producer to producer. All states can make great maple syrup but until you have some form Wisconsin you won't know how good it can be.
    I tell people that maple syrup is like wine and that it differs from year to year and region to region and advise people to avoid blended syrup for the best flavor differences. I love trying syrup from different places just for that reason.

    I do wish that there was some kind of federal law about maple flavor. Barring that, at least maple producing states should have what Vermont and New York have about labeling things as "maple" when they contain no maple. Some companies like Dunkin Donuts sell "maple" products (even calling it maple sugar) without any consequence. Maple is maple in my mind.

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  8. #8
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    Very helpful responses, thanks!
    All of my syrup so far has been very very good except for the batches that were OK or bad.

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