We drove through the muddy backcountry of Vermont to find Morse Farm. The museum is self-serve, so wandering is perfectly fine (bring boots). And, “that maple smell” is everywhere as you wander… tis the smell of heaven.
There’s more than just maple syrup at the farm: we also found pair of hungry goats, a store full of maple products, some bits and pieces of Vermont history, and a cross country ski trail that was closed (but looked intriguing).
Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States; it’s main (and only) competition is Québec. But, with a recent and confusing FDA ruling [link removed], their profits could drop. In the U.S., both maple syrup and honey producers now need to add “contains added sugars” to their labelling… because… ummm… no one really knows why.
The maple syrup and honey that come out of Vermont are relentlessly maintained as 100% natural products. To add “contains added sugar” to the labelling would lead people to think that sugar or high fructose corn syrup is added to the product, which is untrue. This could hurt a lot of smaller maple producers.
In Québec, most won’t even touch the unnatural stuff. Syrups that contain “sugar/HFC” (like Aunt Jemima) are referred to as “pole syrup,” meaning you’ve tapped a pole instead of a tree.