New Maple Grading - Should Vermont join in?


What do you think?  Should Vermont maple syrup be lumped in with the rest of the maple producing regions?

Vermont syrup is in fact not the same as others. The state requires that its syrup be slightly denser than other syrups because it thinks it tastes better. That requires that more sap be produced.

“Most of the states are watching Vermont to see what we do,” said Henry Marckres, a maple specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.

The new standards would not affect the density, which in Vermont would stay the same. 

The four international classifications would be golden color, delicate taste; amber color, rich taste; dark color, robust taste; and very dark color, strong taste, all grade A.

The flavor descriptions are a big plus for consumers who might get confused by Vermont terms like “fancy” or “grade B,” which imply that one is better than or inferior to others but really refer to strength, color or other characteristics, experts say.

Some states already use current USDA standards to grade their syrup, while others, including Vermont, have their own standards. But maple states and provinces are considering getting on board with one system, for consistency’s sake.

So what should Vermont do?  We welcome your comments.

Dori Ross


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