New Rules Require Vermont Maple Syrup Actually be from Vermont

Vermont announced new regulations Monday to dictate stricter rules for labeling maple syrup. Sometimes Vermont tree gold is more “Vermont” than not.

Under the old guidelines, bottlers could slap Vermont on the label even if the syrup wasn
t completely from the 14th state, so long as the name appeared only in the bottom third of the label.

It was discovered that people looking at a maple syrup label with a company name with Vermont in it on lower part of label thought that was Vermont maple syrup,” said Henry Marckres, Vermont
s chief of consumer protection.

One affected bottler, Maple Grove of Vermont, may have to either devise a new logo or list the origins on its bottle. That would make for a difficult read as it purchases syrup in Canada, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Vermont.

Steve Jones, general manager for Maple Grove is concerned about the adverse affect on his marketing. “Most people, as long as it has sufficient contact with Vermont,” he said, “they consider it Vermont syrup. They don’t care where the tree is.”

Tell us, do you like your Vermont syrup from Vermont or are you fine with a cocktail? Also, we know there
s more stuff like this where products aren’t from where they say they are, let us know your favorites. Bear in mind that your responses need to be better than ‘french fries don
t come from France.’ Everyone knows those fried taters come from freedom.

New Rules for Maple Syrup Labels [Burlington Free Press]

Comments

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  1. Danilo says:

    This reminds me of a furious row in the EU parliament I read about. Something to do with the labeling of parmesan cheese. It couldn’t be labaled as parmesan unless it came from a particular place in Italy.

  2. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    As a Vermonter, I want my syrup made from fine Vermont Maple trees. But, I haven’t bought any in years; we make our own, having just enough for ourselves and gifts. And it’s damned hard to make, too.

  3. etinterrapax says:

    The only reason I care where the syrup comes from is that I prefer to buy locally than nationally. So, yeah, it’s an issue if it’s only a brand name, but not because of the flavor. There are so many factors involved in flavor, and different grades are good for different purposes. A cocktail is perfectly good for pancakes. And, really, anything that is 100% maple is better than corn syrup-based “pancake syrups.” As with margarine, I find them utterly lacking in flavor complexity.

    I have given this less thought than the post implies, if that helps you.

  4. airship says:

    Actually, surveys indicate that most consumers don’t like their pancakes to taste like TREES, no matter where those trees might be located. Nope, turns out most folks actually prefer their pancake syrup to be made from an actual FOOD, like corn. So it’s 100% food-based Iowa Corn Syrup for me! Yum!
    (Please do not suspect that I am a paid employee of the Iowa Corn Syrup Promotion Bureau.)

  5. ValkRaider says:

    This summer, upon a visit to Manhattan’s “American Girl” store – I found it quite telling and rather humerous that almost every part of the “American Girl” and associated cruft – is made in China.

  6. Unlike margarine, corn syrup is not essentially black plastic that has been dyed yellow.

    I personally hate it when people refer to sparkling wine as champagne. Guess what folks: if it’s not from Champagne, it’s not champagne! Grrr.

    Gander

  7. dan says:

    The way I see it, it’s like Scotch. I mean, the single-malt has the nuance and complexity, but if you just want to get drunk, good old blended Johnny Walker will do.

    Having taken a shot of pancake syrup before, I’m in no way advocating trying to get drunk off it…

  8. RaginCajun says:

    New York Brand Texas Toast. Made in Ohio. … Really.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    Klondike Bars! What’s the deal!

  10. Anabelle says:

    Last time I checked, trees were not aware of the artificial human construct of state boundaries. Presumably, maple sap from one northern region is pretty comparable to that of another, regardless of whether the trees stand in “New York” or “Vermont” or “Quebec” etc. As long as the bottling is done in Vermont and some Vermont maple farmers have benefited from having their product among the purchased sap, it’s all good to me.

  11. Hawkins says:

    I believe that, for us consumers, the issue boils down to this: JUST FRIKKIN’ TELL US.

    I myself enjoy genetically modified foods, and don’t give a crap about, for example, bovine growth hormone. But I’d like to know, please, so that I can make an informed choice.

    I realize that this case isn’t as egregious as Monsanto’s lawsuits against milk suppliers who dared to put “BGH-free” on their labels. But these syprup makers are lying sacks of poo, and shouldn’t be allowed to call it “Vermont” if it’s not.

  12. L_Emmerdeur says:

    In the EU, only feta from Greece can be labeled as “feta”. I do see feta in Whole Foods that comes from places like France. If white folk want their labels and names to be respected, maybe they should spread the respect around to us Third World noobs. Until then, all your names and labels are belong to us. Cry more.

  13. adamondi says:

    The worst offenders in the “Sounds like it is from someplace nice, but is really made in New Jersey” game are Bottled Water brands, by far. Check out the legally required statement on the label of the source of the bottle of water for which you paid $2. Very rarely is bottled water from unique sources. It is usually from municipal water supplies feeding into the factories where the water was bottled. Coke and Pepsi’s brands of bottled water, Dasani and Aquafina, are nothing more than the same water they use for their soda, just without syrup or carbonation.

  14. LLH says:

    what about OJ (no, not that one, even though he IS living in FL now…) you want your oranges to come from FL if it says “real FL orange juice” not picked and packaged in say, AZ, where they do grow citrus but come on. you know what i’m talking about. vermont maple syrup should come from vermont. and it should be maple syrup not maple flavored topping. remember the days at the movie theatres when your oily yellow popcorn topping was called “butter”?

  15. AcidReign says:

    …..I don’t think I’ve ever checked whether it’s Vermont or not. I do get mad when someone brings home the store brand, though, instead of Mrs. Butterworth! Weak syrup will ruin a stack of pancakes fast!

    …..I work in the bottling biz, and the bit about Aquafina and Dasani is right. It’s municipal water, but very purified. Bottling plants have very elaborate (and expensive to operate and maintain) water treatment systems. You’d be shocked at how tight Pepsi’s tolerances are for the water that goes into their products. The bad part is that filtration removes floride, too.

    ……Yep, that’s right. Bottled water rots your teeth.

  16. Acid –

    Actually that’s one of the reasons I almost exclusively drink bottled water (SmartWater specifically . . . love me some electrolytes). Fluoride is a scam. It’s a byproduct of aluminum production and the metal companies said “Hey. What should we do with this poisonous byproduct of the aluminum production process? Let’s put it in the water!” Very small amounts of fluoride are good for you and do protect your teeth, but we’re way over-exposed to a point that is almost dangerous.

    Gander

  17. AcidReign says:

    …..All I can say is… two cavities in nearly a half century. My father was a dentist, and we were given extra treatments before fluoride was put in the water. And I was TERRIBLE about faking brushing!

    …..I think a lot of folks snarf coffee in the morning and for morning break, soda for lunch and afternoon snack, then booze for happy hour and dinner. Tap water seldom figures in. And they wonder why they wake up with cotton-mouth!

    …..This got a long way off track from Vermont Maple!

  18. Acid –

    Fluoride treatments aren’t as bad because (I assume) you didn’t ingest it. When I go to the dentist I get fluoride treatments (used to be flavored foam but now my big boy dentist gives me a mouthwash type thing) and they’ve always stressed that it is imperative I do not swallow. I don’t think this is because they’re secretly reusing the stuff.

    Another nasty thing about fluoride – it has the habit of ripping the enamel off your teeth. It makes them strong but it sure makes them ugly. Fluoride levels very from area to area . . . ever go to a town and notice everyone has yellow teeth? The town I was born in was over-fluoridated and as a result I had stripey yellow teeth which resulted in dropping about ten grand on shiny new veneers.

    Gander