Monday, April 16, 2012

Why is Real Maple Syrup So Expensive?

Tom is the waffle maker in the house.  He likes to make them as a treat on Sunday mornings.
And we like to use real maple syrup, preferably New York state syrup. 

Highland Sugarworks (Vermont) is a very good brand sold at Wegman's.  Or you can find New York State syrup at most of the farmers markets these days.  This Spring I bought some from a guy in my ceramics class who taps his own maple trees. 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Spring came early this year so he brought his syrup to class in early March.  Maple syrup is made when the sap of maple trees begins to run, during the Spring thaw.  Freezing nights and warmer days turn starch stored in the tree roots into sugar and start it circulating through the tree to fuel spring growth.

Many people say that real maple syrup is too expensive at $1/ounce. And some people just don't have access to it, or never grew up on it, so they acquired a taste for Mrs. Butterworth's-style pancake syrup.  Pancake syrup is basically maple-flavored corn syrup, so the cost is much lower, more like $.20/ounce. 

I won't pass judgment on which is better tasting or better for you.  I will just pass along this information:

5 Reasons to Buy Pure Maple Syrup  (per
  • It has calcium and disease-fighting antioxidants, including potassium
  • It helps support a sustainable agriculture system
  • It supports small family maple farmers and local economies
  • It's an easily digestible sugar, unlike the high fructose corn syrup
  • It's has no preservatives, GMOs or artificial additives
So, why is real maple syrup so expensive? 
Its production is labor intensive, and there is limited supply.  Forty (40) gallons boil down to around 1 gallon of syrup!
I am glad that we are in a maple syrup producing area--Quebec is the highest at 79% (!), Vermont is second, and then there is the rest.
If you want to read more about the history of maple syrup and how it is made, click here:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. As a producer myself, I try to aware of the costs to the consumer and I wish that we could make it available for cheaper, but it's really hard. We are working on a project to make granulated maple sugar (made from real maple sugar) at a lower costs than is currently available, but it's going to take some effort.

    Again, it's appreciated as a maple syrup producer that more people understand the cost (and the benefit!) of real maple syrup. Thank you!