Welcome to Ken Burger Maple Farm

About Us

Over 50 Years of Maple Production

Welcome to our Farm based in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in Margaretville, New York.  We have been making Maple Syrup on our farm for over 50 years, and although the tapping, collection and even boiling equipment has changed over the years, we still make some of the best Maple Syrup in the Catskill Mountains. We may not the largest producer in the state, but our attention to detail and keeping the operation family oriented, has allowed us to concentrate on the color and flavor of our syrup. 

     

5 Things You Need to Know About Maple Syrup

   

There's a lot of confusion surrounding this sweet treat

   By Trisha Calvo        Last updated: December 17, 2017         2.6K SHARES                                   

On pancakes, waffles,  oatmeal and more, Americans love maple syrup. The rich flavor is one  reason why it's so popular, but it's also been touted as a "natural" sweetener that's better for you than regular old sugar.  Not only is that not the case, but it's also just one of a few big  misconceptions people have about maple syrup. For National Maple Syrup  Day, we clear up the confusion and give the results of our recent maple  syrup tests. (See the two tables below for our results of dark and amber maple syrups, with products listed in rank order.)
 


Pancake Syrup and Maple Syrup Are Not the Same

Although they may sit side  by side on grocery store shelves, they couldn’t be more different. Maple  syrup is actually sap from a maple tree that’s been boiled down to  reduce the water content and concentrate the sugars. The sugars  caramelize, resulting in its characteristic color and maple flavor. It  takes about 10 gallons of sap to make just one quart of maple syrup.

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Pancake, or table, syrup is a highly processed product. The  primary ingredient is corn syrup and/or high-fructose corn syrup. Some  experts suggest that high-fructose corn syrup may be processed by the  body differently than other types of sugar, while others say that there  is little difference. You'll also find added coloring, flavoring, and  preservatives in pancake syrup. The coloring is often caramel color. Some types of caramel color contain a compound called 4-MEI, a potential carcinogen, and in Consumer Reports tests, we found that some pancake syrups had notable amounts of 4-MEI.

In blind tastings, our panel of professional tasters have detected  big flavor differences between pancake syrup and maple syrup. Real maple  syrup has a clean, complex maple flavor with hints of caramel, vanilla,  and prune. Pancake syrups are singularly sweet with little complexity  and noticeable artificial flavors.

There's also some confusion about the differences between maple syrup and maple water,  a fairly new option in the beverage aisle. Maple water is the watery  sap that's tapped from the tree and boiled down to make maple syrup.  It's not water with maple syrup mixed in. It usually has around 5 grams  of sugars per 8 ounces, but the amount varies by brand.


Maple Syrup Is Not Healthier Than Sugar

Maple syrup does contain  more of some nutrients than table sugar—and it is a better choice than  pancake syrup—but it certainly isn't a health food. Whether it's an  ingredient in a packaged food or poured on pancakes or oatmeal, this  syrup counts toward your daily added sugars intake. (These are the sugars that are added to food in processing or cooking, not the sugars that are an intrinsic part of fruit or  dairy.) The latest U.S. dietary guidelines put a spotlight on added  sugars, and for the first time there is a recommended limit: no more  than 10 percent of your daily calories. 

If you downed ¼-cup of maple syrup—the amount listed as a serving on  the nutrition facts label—you’d get 62 percent of your daily needs for  riboflavin, about 9 percent of calcium, 8 percent of zinc, and 5 percent  of potassium. But many other foods contain those same nutrients without  the high calorie load: That same size serving of maple syrup has about  200 calories and 50 grams of sugars—more than in a 12-ounce can of cola.  In fact, each tablespoon has about 50 calories and 12 grams of sugars,  so drizzle it on lightly. If your pancakes seem too dry, use chopped or  pureed fruit to add sweetness; bananas, berries, or peaches are good  options. 


Grade A Is Not Better Than Grade B

Grade B syrup has a darker  color and deeper flavor than grade A, but that doesn’t make it inferior.  Many people prefer the more intense flavor of grade B. But this  confusion may soon be cleared up in the minds of consumers. Recently,  the United States Department of Agriculture changed the labeling system  for syrup so that it is in line with international standards. Now all  maple syrup is grade A, followed by a color/flavor description:

    • Grade A Light Amber is now Grade A Golden Color/Delicate Taste
    • Grade A Medium Amber is now Grade A Amber Color/Rich Taste
    • Grade A Dark Amber is now Grade A Dark Color/Robust Taste
    • Grade B is now Grade A Very Dark Color/Strong Taste

Although this change went into effect in March 2015, not all maple  syrup producers have switched over, so you may still see the old grades  on labels.

Our expert panel of tasters recently evaluated 14 maple syrups—eight  dark, five amber, and one golden—both brand names and private label. For  the test, the syrups were served in dark red cups so the color  differences wouldn’t influence the experts’ evaluations.

What's the best type to serve at breakfast or brunch?  It depends on your taste. We found the dark syrups to be more intense  and complex than the amber syrups, but both types had clean maple  flavors. The differences between the colors were quite noticeable when  we tasted the golden, amber, and dark color offerings from one brand,  Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Organic Maple Syrup, side by side. The  golden syrup was the most sweet with the mildest flavor. The amber syrup  had more maple flavor and the dark syrup was complex with big molasses  and intense maple flavors.

   

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Higher Price ≠ Higher Quality

Not always. In our tests,  Trader Joe’s 100 Percent Vermont Maple Syrup ranked Excellent and was  also the least expensive amber syrup. The priciest amber syrup, Maple  Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup, received a Very Good Rating.

We found a similar pattern among the dark syrups. The highest-priced  syrup, Camp Pure Maple Syrup was judged to be Good while the  lowest-priced, Kirkland Signature (Costco) Organic Maple Syrup  ranked  Very Good.

Once you pour the syrup on your pancakes or waffles,  however, the differences between brands may not matter as much. We  tasted the highest- and lowest-ranked brands in both color categories on  waffles and found that the amber syrups were practically  indistinguishable from one another. It was a little easier to tell the  dark syrups apart. Our recommendation is to buy syrup by price.


Maple Syrup Will Not Keep Indefinitely

Unlike honey, maple syrup can grow mold so once you open a container you should put it in the refrigerator, where it will last 6 months to a year. An unopened container can be stored in a cool place for up to two years.

Some brands of maple syrup are sold in different-size containers, and  the syrup is often less expensive per serving when you buy the largest  one. For example, the Maple Grove Farms syrups in our tests cost $2.69  per ¼-cup serving when purchased in an 8 ½ ounce bottle, but came out to  $1.19 per serving for a 32-ounce bottle. That’s a lot of syrup, but you  can take advantage of the lower price if you store it in the freezer,  where it will keep indefinitely (it won’t freeze solid). For the best  flavor, bring maple syrup to room temperature or heat it gently before  using it.



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4 Impressive Maple Syrup Benefits


The health benefits of maple syrup include a healthy heart and a healthier immune system. It also has antioxidant properties that protect our body from free radicals.

There are several natural sweeteners that are preferred instead of the chemically prepared sugar which is common in most houses. There are people who prefer using honey  instead of any other natural products of the same type. However, maple  syrup is considered to be a better option given its low-calorie count,  as compared to honey.

Table of Contents

Uses of Maple Syrup

The use of maple syrup is common and is incorporated into many meals.  Therefore, it is considered as a key cooking ingredient in a number of food  items. This syrup adds flavor to sausages, ice cream, different types  of fritters, and fresh fruit, among others. It can also be used in  pancakes as a topping, as well as on French toast and waffles, which are  common delicacies in some parts of America and Europe. Due to its  flavor and sweetness, it can be used as a sweetener to be used in baked  beans, cakes, bread, and granola. Some wine manufacturers also consider using it in the wine-making process instead of honey.

Nutritional Value of Maple Syrup

The nutrients found in maple syrup include energy, water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and sugars. In terms of minerals, it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and zinc. Vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6 are also found in maple syrup.

Health Benefits of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is not only tempting and yummy but is also a hoarder of  ample health benefits. Let’s take a look at its beneficial effects on  our body.

Antioxidant

Maple syrup has various antioxidant properties that are essential for healthy living. Antioxidants are important for the body  as they neutralize free radicals, which may cause various health  ailments. Mitochondria are one of the cells that are responsible for  energy production, but during this process, free radicals are produced  within the mitochondria. This function requires enzymes that are prone  to damage or harm by other microorganisms in the body. It is the function of manganese  present in the maple syrup to supply the superoxide dismutase which is  an oxidative enzyme. This enzyme helps in disarming the dangerous free  radicals that are produced by the mitochondria when performing its  normal metabolic functions.

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The health benefits of maple syrup also include  giving you a healthier heart. It is one of the body’s organs that is  susceptible to different kinds of diseases such as stroke, atherosclerosis,  and other cardiovascular conditions. The presence of zinc in the body  is one of the best ways that has been proven to protect the heart  against such diseases. Maple syrup contains  zinc and its consumption may protect and prevent various cardiovascular  disorders. Zinc also enhances the performance of the endothelial cells  by protecting them against damage due to the existence of excess  cholesterol, together with other oxidized lipids. The blood vessels are  comprised of different components of the endothelial cells, which form  the inner lining of these vessels. A low level of zinc exposes the  linings to injuries, which in turn can affect the normal functioning of  the heart.

Improves Male Reproductive Health

The consumption of maple syrup may also help in maintaining male reproductive health. There are certain  minerals, such as zinc, found in maple syrup, that are useful for a  healthy reproductive system, particularly the prostate gland. Reduction  in the level of the minerals increases the risk of disorders, such as  prostate cancer. This is why it is advisable for men to always try to consume foods  that contain the right amount of this mineral. Maple syrup is one of  such food that is easy to acquire, readily available, and enjoyable as  well.

Strengthens Immune System

A lack of zinc and manganese minerals could easily lead to a  reduction in the number of white blood cells, which affects the response  of the immune system. Supplementing these minerals is the only way  known to restore their levels to the proper state. Maple syrup is a good source of both zinc and manganese, which play a key role in strengthening the immune system.

How to Prepare Maple Syrup?

The Native Americans are said to have discovered that sap from maple  trees could be processed to make maple syrup. Maple syrup is prepared  from the sugary sap of the maple tree. The preparation involves a  tapping or piercing of tree to obtain this sap. These trees accumulate  starch in their roots and trunks, especially in the period that precedes  winter. The long accumulation of this starch makes it easy to convert  it from the original state to sugar. During the spring season, the sugar  rises and mixes with water to form a sap which is ready for collection  or harvesting. Since the sap contains a high water ratio, it has to  undergo processing for the water to evaporate, leaving behind the  concentrated, thick syrup. This final product is arrived at through a  heating process. The entire process does not involve any use of chemical  additives, preservatives, or agents.

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So far, Canada is the largest producer of maple syrup followed by the  United States. The major advantage is that one does not necessarily  have to reside in these areas in order to buy this syrup. It is stocked  in stores all over the world.

How to Select and Store Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is readily available all over the world. Be sure to store  the maple syrup in a cool place before opening, and keep it in the  refrigerator after opening. Discard it if you see any mold in the syrup.

Quick Serving Ideas

Sweetener: Use maple syrup as a sweetener for tea or coffee.

Sweet Toast: Toast a piece of wheat bread and top it with some cut-up fruits such as banana and apple. Sprinkle cinnamon powder and then drizzle some maple syrup on the entire dish and enjoy!