We love Grade B maple syrup (soon to be officially called “extra dark amber”). It’s got a stronger maple flavor and is higher in mineral and nutritional content than Grade A. What’s not to like about that? Grade B is produced basically during the last week of maple season in the early spring.
It’s not that easy to find, because a lot of people, it seems, still like the lighter, earlier syrup, that is, Grade A in its various permutations. So I did some calling around and found a couple places up north in the Black River area that sell it. We ended up at Moser’s Mapleridge Farm.
We were welcomed into the sugar shack and Lyndon Moser explained everything that they were doing. We watched a very strong fellow load a lot of wood into a very hot fire under the boiler. Lyndon called us around to the other side of it to see the syrup come out of the boiler. This happens automatically at a particular temperature, but Lyndon checked the syrup with a hydrometer to make sure it was at the right viscosity.
Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup?
Then he explained all about how it’s filtered as he was filtering it. In the old days it took longer because it filtered downward, using gravity as the pressure. Nowadays they use a pressurized filter system. We watched as the beautiful dark HOT syrup came from the filter into the jug.
Going to the source of the syrup was rewarding in many ways. Aside from a gorgeous ride in a fascinating, historic part of the state, we got to meet the people who work long, hard hours to produce the sweet goodness (Lyndon told us “We sleep well at night!”).
We literally saw where our food comes from. And we were in the presence of a man who knows the meaning that his life has. He said that it was quite something to be in this spot making maple syrup for over 30 years. He mentioned the word “stewardship” as he talked about his connection to his work and his land.
Next year when we need maple syrup again, I have a feeling we’ll be seeking out Lyndon Moser and his family farm. It’s one thing to find maple syrup at the local supermarket, labeled as coming from “the USA and Canada.” It’s quite another to shake the hand of the man who made it.
Moser’s Mapleridge Farm
3981 Wilson Road
Copenhagen, NY 13626-3530
“We have been making maple syrup here on our farm since 1981. Our sugar house is right next to the road so visitors are welcome anytime during the maple season. We have 5000+ taps using all buckets, and boil on a high efficiency wood fired evaporator and piggyback. We make and sell (year round) maple syrup, sugarcakes, maple cream, and granulated sugar, and will have samples for you to try.”