Interesting information-burst: Did know that it takes 43 gallons to make one gallon maple syrup? This is amazing to me. According to This website comes from the University of VermontA single tree produces between 10 to 20 gallons per season. This depends on all factors. When you’re done, we’ll be there. Anyways, using very rough math, this 12 oz bottle of Trader Joe’s Organic Grade B Maple Syrup is the byproduct of about 4 gallons of maple sap evaporated/boiled/steamed (everywhere I look uses different terminology), which is a sizable proportion of a tree’s given annual yield, no matter how you cut it. Two thoughts come to my mind: 1) The person who invented maple syrup is an absolute genius, and 2) the $7.99 cost of this bottle can be put in a better perspective.
Then there is all the information about maple syrup grades. Most of the information I saw was about Grade B syrup. This bottle is best for baking. Grade A syrup is best for waffles and pancakes. A vs.B is not meant to be a judgment on quality, but on color and sweetness. Grade B is harvested later in the season and is darker, sweeter, but more maple-y, than Grade A. To give you an idea of the differences, Grade B is dark chocolate, Grade A is milk chocolate. However, both are excellent and worth trying.
That’s enough. What does it taste like? Deeeeeeee-lish. I don’t like Aunt Jemima pretending to make maple syrup. But the real thing? This is a great recipe. This particular TJ’s find was thick and rich, and it is uber-mapley. Sandy prepared blueberry almond wheat pancakes, while I made sausage patties. A decent local farm. Both of these were delicious with the syrup. It was so delicious, I had no choice but to stop using it. Channeling my inner Super TrooperIt was delicious, but I couldn’t resist pouring a bit into a shotglass and enjoying the unadulterated flavor. This maple syrup is my favorite. It’s hard to beat for the price (Trader Joe’s has a Grade A, but it costs $9 per bottle more), at least in Pittsburgh. It is definitely better than the MexiCanuck concoction TJ had a while ago. Much better.
Sandy is a fan, too. She said it as boldly as she could: “Better than Aunt Jemima and Log Cabin too.” Yes, love, it is real maple syrup. It’s not high fructose corn junk, which can legally not be called “maple” syrup. We are going on a Vermont vacation together this year. (I have been to Vermont a few times and she hasn’t), so we hope she will expand her maple syrup taste buds soon. This is a good start. It gets a four from her. I’ll add half a spoon.
Bottom line: Trader Joseph’s Organic Grade A Maple Syrup: 8.8 out of 10 Golden Spoons