Ever wondered how is maple syrup graded?

real maple syrup

real maple syrup

In 1887, Log Cabin released the very first maple syrup onto the market which was not 100 percent pure maple. Their recipe called for only 45 percent maple syrup mixed with 55 percent corn syrup. This new product was considerably more affordable than pure maple syrup, and for that reason, it quickly became a consumer hit. Over the next several decades, many other brands of imitation syrup piggybacked on the popular idea and offered even more competitive prices. In order to maintain a hold on the market, Log Cabin further reduced the maple syrup content in their syrup. By the 1970s, most imitation syrup brands had completely eliminated maple syrup from their products. Instead, they used corn syrup and artificial flavors. Most consumers did not realize that these new syrups were not real maple syrup, so the United States put into place a law prohibiting artificial syrup brands from using maple syrup on their labels.

Creating a manner of grading maple syrup was key to ensuring authenticity of products on the market, and it also would give consumers insight into the different flavor profiles of each grade and subgrade. The new maple syrup grades were broken down into two grades: Grade A, and Grade B. Grade A was broken down into three subgrades: Light Amber, Medium Amber, and Dark Amber. Beginning this year, a new and improved grading system will be implemented that will minimize confusion between the U.S. and Canadian maple syrup grading systems. All retail syrup will be Grade A (Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Extra Dark), and there will also be processing grade maple syrup available only to commercial businesses.

The new grading system will benefit anyone who has ever been confused by the letters on maple syrup bottles.


How is maple syrup graded under the new international system?

how is maple syrup graded

How is maple syrup graded

Grading maple syrup has been around for decades, and the grading systems of the U.S. and Canada have always been different. The two grading methods have long confused consumers and maple syrup enthusiasts, and the new maple grading system created by the International Maple Syrup Institute is about to clear everything up. The universal set of new maple syrup grades—will be fully implemented over the next couple of years.

As of now, the U.S. grading system classifies maple syrup into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is further broken down into three different sub-grades: Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. The Canadian system is based on a number scale. Canada #1 includes Extra Light (also known as AA), Light (A), and Medium (B). Canada #2 is Amber, also known as C, and finally, #3 is known as Dark, or D. Because the three #1 grades of Canada’s system are essentially the same as the three U.S. sub-grades of Grade A maple syrup, it makes sense to have one universal system instead. The new system will have only one grade for retail sale: Grade A. The other grade will be called Processing Grade maple syrup, but this grade will only be commercially available. Grade A maple syrup will be divided into four classes: Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Very Dark.

No matter what your preferences are when it comes to maple syrup, you will definitely be able to find a variety you love once the change hits store shelves everywhere.


Celebrate Whoopie Pies at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival

Bitten chocolate and vanilla whoopie pies

Bitten chocolate and vanilla whoopie pies

Every June, Dover-Foxcroft holds the annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival—an event which draws in thousands of locals and tourists alike. Visitors can eat whoopie pies to their heart’s content as well as participate in (or just be a spectator) to the many activities taking place throughout the day. There are whoopie pie eating contests, races, Clydesdale carriage rides, live musical performances and plenty of activities for the kids.

Dover-Foxcroft is just about a two-hour drive from Portland, so if you’re planning on vacationing in the area during June, make sure to visit the website for the festival beforehand to check its date. It’s an experience which is most certainly uniquely Maine, and it is just one of the many great food festivals which take place in the state during the summer months. Other notable festivals include the Yarmouth Clam Festival, the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, as well as a number of blueberry festivals in various towns. Of all the things Maine is famous for, fresh seafood, blueberry pie and whoopie pies are at the top of the list, so when you’re here you should try all of them.

In a state where the official state treat is the whoopie pie, you can be sure you don’t need to look far to find this classic dessert. Some of the best whoopie pies are made right in Freeport, Maine at Wicked Whoopies—and their selection of whoopie pie flavors is astounding. Regardless of your vacation itinerary when you’re in Maine, make sure to try at least one whoopie pie so you can understand why it is so widely beloved.


Breakfast Without Dairy: Vegan Cream Cheese Satisfies

If your ideal breakfast is a toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese and a cup of coffee with cream, you are no doubt going to be disappointed if you learn that you have a milk allergy, or if you make the decision to become a vegan. You’re probably thinking that you’re never again going to be able to enjoy the same foods that you loved so much before, and that can be disheartening—but it’s not the truth. You can still enjoy that bagel, but instead of a regular cream cheese, you can simply switch it for vegan cream cheese and satisfy your craving.

Not only are vegan cream cheeses healthier for you, they are just as flavorful as the regular varieties. In fact, you don’t even have to settle for a plain substitution. GoVeggie! offers high-quality dairy free cream cheeses in both plain and chive flavors. Not only do they offer delicious dairy-free cream cheese, they also offer other dairy free cheeses as well, so if you’re craving an omelet, you can have that too. If neither of those options sounds appealing, and you decide that you want French toast stuffed with strawberry cream cheese, get some dairy free cream cheese and add strawberry puree. If you’re getting rid of dairy from your diet, you don’t need to be afraid that breakfast will mean dry toast and black coffee. You have many options as a consumer today that will go above and beyond your expectations of what vegan foods taste like.

It’s easy to assume that a vegan diet will be bland and monotonous, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. You have more choices than ever for delicious alternatives to your favorite foods, and not only are the flavors closer than ever to the real thing, but they are often healthier. Incorporate non dairy cream cheese into your diet, and you won’t ever again have to worry about a boring breakfast.