Quebec produces 70% of the world’s maple syrup. At home, I would be hard pressed to find any Quebec maple syrup, it’s all New Brunswick maple syrup, of course. According to a colleague, Vermont maple syrup is best or so she had heard. And I was sceptical- how different could it be?
So we conducted a taste test. While in Vermont, I purchased a bottle of Grade A medium amber produced by Lucien O. Laroche from Franklin, Vt. I also bought a jar of Hudak’s Grade A Dark Amber and Grade B. At home, I already had a bottle of Canada No. 1 Medium maple syrup made by L. Briggs and Family from Stilesville, NB and a can of Medium from Elgin, NB.
In order to be more fair, I really should have had some from Quebec, Maine, Ontario and other and types, including other producers in New Brunswick. But five containers of maple syrup will take us a while to get through, as it is.
The Hudaks maple syrups definitely had more character- sweeter, more raw, darker. They were prettier, but they were immediately cut from my list. And there was an obvious difference between the Grade A and Grade B- the B was sweeter. My brother Josh preferred the Hudak’s Grade A Dark Amber to all the others- he really liked the flavour.
The other three were similar- the nature of being a ‘medium’ I guess. In the end, I preferred the Briggs family maple syrup from Stilesville. I think the flavour was a little lighter, mellower, fruitier- but I’m suspicious of my own ability to differentiate. I know I prefer medium maple syrup, whether it’s from New Brunswick or Vermont. And I’ll pay a little more attention next time I’m buying maple syrup.