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scottie

12-year-old Maple Syrup

9 posts in this topic

My husband has had this 1/2 gallon can of maple syrup for 12 years, never opened. I got a craving the other day and opened it to see what kind of shape it was in. It was really dark. I poured it all out into various bottles, thinking I could get a better feel for its condition that way.

Of course there was all sorts of crystallization at the bottom- maybe that lent to the darkness of the syrup, since the crystals were clear. This giant, perfectly clear crystal fell out! That was cool. But not the point.

The point is, is this syrup still safe to use? It seems like it might have absorbed a metallic character from the tin. I hate to throw out that much Real Vermont maple syrup, but who wants to eat tin?

Any thoughts?

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The point is, is this syrup still safe to use? It seems like it might have absorbed a metallic character from the tin. I hate to throw out that much Real Vermont maple syrup, but who wants to eat tin?

Well, the USDA would say "no" -- even low-acid foods like maple syrup should theoretically only be kept for 2-5 years (depending on the specific product). That said, if the can was intact, with no signs of bulging, rust, etc. you are probably safe. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I agree it would be a shame to just toss that much of the Real Deal. Of course, it may be a moot point if it doesn't taste good anymore, which is a separate issue. I personally would probably toss it out of paranoia, but it's probably just that: paranoia.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Send an email to the Vermont maple syrup producer's organization - I don't have the link right now, but in the past I have inquired about similar questions.

Last year I used a couple of jugs of maple syrup I had purchased at Costco several years earlier and it was just fine.

Found the link: Vermont Maple Syrup.org


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Personally, I wouldn't use 12 year old anything, except wine or Scotch! But maybe that's just me -- my motto is "when in doubt, throw it out."


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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When I was growing up my parents would buy a gallon jug of maple syrup and when they opened it they would "boil it up good" and then can it. I don't know if they processed it after putting it in jars, but it was always sealed with the lid and ring.

SO, IF, you decide to use it I'd recommend boiling it.....after all that's how it got to be syrup in the first place.

When I've had syrup go bad it had a layer of "fuzz" on the top.....that's when I learned an important difference from honey.

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I think that the fact that it was in a metallic container (which is reactive) as opposed to a glass or ceramic jug (which is not) is the critical point here. I'd be much more inclined to keep it around if it wasn't stored in the can.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I bet its safe, not sure it still taste as good as it should.

The mapple products producers in Quebec use to keep a lot of syrup in their warehouse, sometimes for years, to keep the price high on the market. I have heard that the market have been so good in recent years that their inventory is very small now.

Regarding Chris comment's, most can these days have a protective layer on the inside.

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Send an email to the Vermont maple syrup producer's organization - I don't have the link right now, but in the past I have inquired about similar questions.

Found the link: Vermont Maple Syrup.org

What a good idea! I have emailed them this question. Thank you for posting the link.

I agree with Chris that it would not be such a problem if the syrup had been stored in glass.

I am pretty sure that protective lining was not in such wide usage 12 years ago. This can did not seem to have any such lining, though it was hard to tell through all of the crystallization.

I have used the syrup once, and it tasted more or less okay, but I was so paranoid I haven't used it since. I am awaiting response from the Vermont Maple Foundation, which I will post here as soon as I get it.

Thanks, guys!

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Well, here is the response I got from the wonderfully named Mr. Jacques Couture, president of the Vermont Maple Foundation:

> "It would be interesting to know how the syrup tastes after

> 12 years! I would follow my instincts if I were you. If the

> inside of the can is tarnished the syrup has probably picked

> up a very tinny taste. If not, it may still be good to eat,

> but don't take any chances if you are not comfortable.

> I may not sound very decisive in my recommendations.

> It's kind of hard to know not being there.

> Good luck...be careful.

> Jacques Couture"

>

Of course I threw out the can before thoroughly inspecting the interior, which was covered in crystals anyway, so I am going to taste a big spoonful and then decide. Probably it's going in the garbage.

Thanks for all of your responses!

-scottie

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