Mohawk Valley Trading Company - Honey - Maple Syrup - Beeswax Candles

  (Utica, New York)
Honey, Raw Honey, Maple Syrup
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"Dude, It's NOT Beef!" T-Shirt Giveaway

Beef Products Inc., the maker of “Pink Slime” suspended operations last Monday at all but one plant where the “lean finely textured beef (LFTB)” or “boneless lean beef trimmings” are processed, acknowledging current public backlash over the product has cost the company business.

Pink Slime

Following the suspension of operations at the plants, members of the media and leaders that included Governors from meat-producing states were invited to tour the facilities in an attempt to repudiate what they called "inaccurate information" that they claimed as having caused "an unnecessary panic among consumers." The publicity tour emerged with the promotional slogan, "Dude, it's beef!"


Texas Gov. Rick Perry said after the tour "Let's call this product what it is and let 'pink slime' become a term of the past," after which officials showed off t-shirts swith the slogan, "Dude, it's beef!"

"I think a big part of the campaign problem has been the other side has had a catchy name,” Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said. “I hope, 'Dude, it's beef,' catches on because that's what this is.  Dude, it's beef."

Well, we beg to differ and in response to this, The Mohawk Valley Trading Co. has partnered with custom t-shirt printer Crooked Brook to sponsor a “Dude, It’s Not Beef!” T-Shirt Giveaway.

Dude It’s Not Beef! T-Shirt

This white, 6.1 oz., 100% cotton t-shirt is printed with Direct to Garment printing (DTG) technology which uses eco-friendly, water soluble ink that bonds to the molecules of the fabric, unlike most screen printing which layers Plastisol (a suspension of PVC particles in a plasticizer) on top of the t-shirt. DTG allows photographic quality printing with no setup fee or minimum you can order as few as one custom t-shirt.

The winner will be chosen randomly, from those who post a comment with an answer to this question;

What do you think about “Pink Slime”?

Terms & Conditions:

You must be 18 years or older to win.
Contest ends midnight (Eastern Standard Time) 04/08/12.
Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email.
Winner will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.  
Crooked Brook will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end.
Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.


Maple Syrup Grades: Part 1

There are two well known systems of maple syrup grading in use today. One system is used in Canada (where 80% of the world’s maple syrup is produced) and another system is used in the United States of America. Both systems are based on color and translucence with relate to the flavor of the syrup. Different grades are produced by the same trees over the length of the season.

Syrup thickness is not related to grade. State and Province laws dictate minimum thickness requirements for syrup. For example, New York State requires a thickness of 66% solids. Vermont has stricter laws, requiring 67.1% thickness. These minimums protect the consumer from being cheated by a diluted product. Thicker syrups are also safer to consume, with only 62% solids a syrup is likely to contain and breed dangerous pathogens.

The Canadian system assigns numerical grades from 1 to 3 with several subcategories. Grades are established based on light transmittance. Number 1 syrup is broken down to Extra Light, Light and Medium. The lightest syrup varies from full (100%) light transmittance to 75%. In comparison, light and medium vary from 74.9%-60.5% and 60.45-44% respectively.  Number 2 syrup is classified as Amber and has a range of 43.9%-27% light transmittance. Number 3 syrup is darkest and includes all syrup below 27% light transmittance.

The US maple grading system assigns grades ranging from AA to Commercial Grade. AA syrup is also labeled light amber or ‘Extra Fancy’ and is equivalent to Canadian number 1. Many people incorrectly assume that syrup with the highest grade has the strongest maple flavor, but the opposite is true. This syrup has the lightest flavor, it reads as subtle to some and weak to others. AA syrup is made from the earliest sap; approximately 25-30% of syrup production will fall into this grade. This syrup will produce the lightest maple sugar with the most subtle flavor. Bias toward the label of ‘AA’ means this syrup is often more expensive than the others.

Grade A syrup is divided into medium amber and dark amber. These syrups are darker in color and have a stronger maple flavor. Medium amber is often used as table syrup for pancakes and other breakfast foods. Some people think dark amber syrup is too strong for table use and prefer to use it for baking. 50-60% of maple syrup falls into these two categories.

Grade B is very dark; it is the same as Canadian number 2. This syrup has the strongest flavor. Grade B is the best syrup for baking, it allows for a strong maple flavor without adding too much liquid. It is also used as table syrup for those who love strong maple flavor. Only 10% of syrup is labeled Grade B. Since maple syrup recipes usually do not specify any particular grade to use, take into consideration that darker colored syrups will produce dishes that a have a pronounced maple flavor.

Vermont produces the majority of maple syrup in America. Other important states in maple production include New York and Maine. Vermont has its own grading system; it is very similar to the American grading system but includes a grade below B. Commercial grade syrup is not sold bottled for use. It is used as a flavor additive in other products. Commercial syrup is the darkest syrup produce, only 2-3% fits this label. In Vermont, syrup grading is taken very seriously. Fines of more than $1000 are applied for mislabeling syrup. At this time there are motions in the state of Vermont to make it a felony to market fake maple products as real maple syrup.

Fleece Blanket Giveaway 1 Winner!!!

Congratulations Michele Pineda, you are the winner of Fleece Blanket Giveaway 1!!!


We’ve sent you an email and look forward to your reply. To all you other Local Harvest followers; don’t bum out ‘cuz there’s plenty more Fleece Blanket Giveaways in the works, so keep coming back to our blog. If you can’t wait to win one, contact Crooked Brook.

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