Picked up this cute maple syrup sampler at Marshall’s last weekend. At $7.99 (a total of 6.8 oz), this kit is “a replica of the old Vermont grading sample kits used by sugarmakers for generations.” It would make an ideal small gift (so I bought two).
I’ve had great luck with Marshall’s gourmet food items, and it looked like they just got in a lot of olive oils, too.
This box contains four little bottles, different grades of maple syrup, so you can have your own little tasting. I usually like the darker ones (to the right side) best, but for some uses, especially in baking, lighter might be preferable.
Maple syrup prices have gone sky-high in the last couple of years, due to increasing demand as an alternative sweetner, and shorter supply due to mild spring weather for several years, especially in Canada, a major producer. (Can you say global warming?) The Whole Earth Center uses it as a sweetener in many of their baked goods, and I have to think that’s a big reason those cookies are up to $11 a pound (and SO worth it!).