Any favorite brands/producers to recommend? Thanks!
This stuff is pretty darn good http://poorfarmfarm.com/?page_id=244
We live in New Hampshire and see many lines on the maple trees in the area that are tapped when the season arrives. Some of the syrup is made by small sugar houses and just sold locally, and some is sent on to processors in the area who distribute over a wide area. Some of the local syrup is sold on the internet. If you don't live in a syrup producing area, you could search the internet for some of the small producers for something special. We like the Grade B with a more pronounced maple flavor.
If you buy from large scale producers, just be sure that you are buying pure maple syrup, not maple "flavored" or blended. It's special stuff!
Depends where you live. If you can get out to a producer in late February-March, when most syrup is made, you can buy it on site, it will be delicious, and you'll have fun. After all, syrup is boiled down sap, nothing more (40 gal sap: 1 gap syrup, approx.). It is finished and graded using particular standards, whether you're a big producer or a small one. If you are buying online, then you are buying from a larger producer; some of them are retailing their own syrup, some of them are perhaps selling the syrup produced by several smaller producers. There's no reason why that wouldn't be good quality syrup, as well. Mine comes from my neighbor's sugar house (drawing sap from our trees and his); it always tastes the best to me.
Morse Farm in Vermont is a good producer. We love Grade B.