Nov 11

Where to find the best whoopie pie

red velvet whoopie piesOver the past decade, whoopie pies have become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Today, not only can you find them in every state, there is also an abundance of online bakeries available to lovers of this classic treat. They are so popular, in fact, that in 2010 The New York Times named the whoopie pie the next big thing in trendy desserts. So, where then can you find the best tasting whoopie pies in the country? A good place to begin your search is New England.

The classic whoopie pie is essentially the cake version of an Oreo. It consists of a thick layer of vanilla frosting sandwiched between two mounds of decadent chocolate cake. As a result of the skyrocketing popularity of this dessert, there has also been a rise in new and unique whoopie pie flavor combinations. It is now easy to find whoopie pies in fantastic flavors like oatmeal, banana cream, lemon, chocolate chip, mint, red velvet cake and even pumpkin—so there is definitely a whoopie pie for everyone. If spending some time in Maine, trying out one of their whoopie pies should be a priority—and some of the best whoopie pies in the country are found here. One of the most delicious brands is located in the town of Freeport, a small town which is any shopper’s mecca—and it is also home to the flagship L.L. Bean store. After a long day shopping the outlets and boutiques here, make a stop at Wicked Whoopies for an unforgettable selection of this tasty treat.

Nov 07

Curious about the new maple syrup grades?

The new maple syrup grading system

The new maple syrup grading system

Starting this year, a new international system for grading maple syrup which was developed by the International Maple Syrup Institute will begin popping up in grocery stores. The new maple grading system was created in order to make understanding maple syrup grades simpler for customers. Rather than having two grading systems (the U.S. system and the Canadian system), one universal grading method will replace them.

Before this new system was created, U.S. maple syrup was classified into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Under the improved system, all maple syrup will be Grade A pure maple syrup. All retail maple syrup will be Grade A, and will be broken down further into four distinct classes. Grade A Golden is the lightest and most subtly flavored class. Grade A Amber has a darker color and a bolder flavor. Grade A Dark has an even richer color and a more intense flavor than the Golden and the Amber. Fans of Grade B maple syrup will enjoy this class, as well as Grade A Very Dark. This class has the darkest color available for retail purchase and it has a very strong maple flavor. In addition to the retail grades, there will also be a Processing Grade maple syrup available only for commercial use.

Having just one grading system internationally is far less frustrating for consumers. As long as you know the basics of the grading system, picking out a variety of maple syrup will be a simple process.