And then there's all this info out there about maple syrup grades. A lot of it I saw refers to Grade B syrup, like this bottle, as best for baking, and Grade A best for your pancakes and waffles. Despite the allusions to your report card, A vs. B isn't really meant as a judgement on quality but rather on the color and sweetness. Grade B, harvested later in the season, is darker and less sweet but more maple-y than Grade A. To make a rough analogy, think of Grade B as dark chocolate and Grade A as milk chocolate - both are great, and whichever one you like better, go for it.
Okay, that's enough of that. How does it taste? Deeeeeeee-lish. I cannot tolerate any of the crap like Aunt Jemima masquerading as maple syrup, but man, the real stuff? Love it. This particular TJ's find is thick and rich and uber-maple-y. Sandy cooked up some homemade blueberry almond wheat pancakes last night while I made us some sausage patties from a pretty decent local farm. The syrup was amazing on both of them. It was so good, in fact, I had to refrain from channeling my inner Super Trooper, but I couldn't resist pouring out just a little into a shot glass and sipping it down, just for a little unadulterated taste. This is the strongest maple-tasting maple syrup I've had yet, and I love it. For the money (there's a Grade A that Trader Joe's carries, but for $9 more a bottle), it's tough to beat, at least on the local grocery shelves around Pittsburgh. It's certainly better than that weird MexiCanuck concoction TJ's had a while back. Much better.
Sandy's a fan too. "Better than Aunt Jemima, and Log Cabin, too," she said, as if it were a bold statement. Well, yes, love, this is the actual real stuff, not the high fructose corn junk that actually cannot legally be labelled as "maple" syrup. We're planning a Vermont vacation this year (I've been there a few times, she's never been) so hopefully she'll broaden her maple syrup palate soon. This is far from a bad start, though, for sure. She gives it a four. I'll up that by half a spoon.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Grade B Maple Syrup: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons