Sticky Fingers
September 3, 2012 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Last week, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves) missing from a Quebec warehouse. It is valued at over $30 million dollars.
posted by the man of twists and turns (148 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a tragedy but I doubt we'll ever catch who did it. They're probably diabolically clever and insanely skillful and as such we shouldn't even try to find them. Consider it sunk costs and just move on, you know?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:15 AM on September 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Fucking gangsta.
posted by bardic at 5:18 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's a tragedy but I doubt we'll ever catch who did it.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:22 AM on September 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


The barrels are still in the warehouse; the syrup inside them is gone. Maybe I'm just suspicious and cynical, but I'm wondering if the syrup was ever inside the barrels in the first place. Fake inventory as part of an investment manipulation or insurance scam? Wouldn't be the first time.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:22 AM on September 3, 2012 [30 favorites]


I hear a day of national mourning has been called for tomorrow?
posted by MartinWisse at 5:22 AM on September 3, 2012


Sweet!
posted by From Bklyn at 5:23 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


TIL: there is such a thing as a "global strategic maple syrup reserve".
posted by likeso at 5:24 AM on September 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Breaking Bad: Canada.
posted by milarepa at 5:25 AM on September 3, 2012 [73 favorites]


Police suspect the syrup mafia and are on the watch for any vehicles moving slowly, very very slowly, away from the scene of the crime.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:25 AM on September 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm wondering if the syrup was ever inside the barrels in the first place.

Is maple syrup a precursor to something?

(Other than, of course, delicious Belgian waffles?)
posted by Egg Shen at 5:26 AM on September 3, 2012


Boyz n the Wood
posted by bardic at 5:27 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Better call.... Miss Maple

YYYYYEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:27 AM on September 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


TIL: there is such a thing as a "global strategic maple syrup reserve".

I learned this last week when the news first broke - and now I can't stop saying it.

The world is a better place for having a global strategic maple syrup reserve.
posted by jb at 5:35 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Anyone want to buy a drum of maple syrup? I got a couple that, uh, fell off a truck...
posted by double block and bleed at 5:35 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


this is a STICKY SITUATION

(syrup is sticky)
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is this their hamhanded attempt at ensuring food security?
posted by infini at 5:37 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


As part of the global manhunt, International House of Pancakes will be helping with the sting operation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:39 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I used to do the maple. I was into it. I did Grade A or Grade B... I didn't care. But then a friend turned me on to the high fructose corn syrup and I haven't done maple since.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:39 AM on September 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Is maple syrup a precursor to something?

Yes. If you keep boiling, you get maple butter, or maple sugar. (Don't know if they are along the same road, or different processes).

But this can't happen in an unheated barrel.
posted by jb at 5:40 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, where can I get a heated barrel?
posted by notionoriety at 5:41 AM on September 3, 2012


Not that I, uh, have any maple syrup. But you never know what might treacle down.
posted by notionoriety at 5:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is maple syrup a precursor to something?
(Other than, of course, delicious Belgian waffles?)


Pffft. Belgian waffles (or anything else) are just delivery vehicles for the yummy maple syrup. Maple syrup is an end unto itself.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, the Canadians have a maple leaf as their national symbol. So you know they were just asking for it.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:43 AM on September 3, 2012


I'm convinced every single comment here is code for something really messed up. Perverts. Belgian delivery vehicles indeed.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 5:46 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could have been worse: thank God everyone's OK.
posted by cenoxo at 5:47 AM on September 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also known as "mapling", or "doing the syrup", or having a "Misses Butterworth's stick-to-your-face fun time."
posted by deanklear at 5:47 AM on September 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've just hijacked a truck full of pancakes. Can anyone tell me where I can meet up with those guys?
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:48 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


They need to be looking for a 6' middle age santa's elf with a beer gut.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:50 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am now sitting here in random South East Asia craving ... do you hear me salivate...craving maple sugar candy.

*weeps*
posted by infini at 5:50 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was particularly annoyed to find that the price of maple sugar has gone up. (Hint: cinnnamon rolls with maple sugar instead of cinnamon sugar are great. See also: shortbread made with maple sugar.)

Time to get baking!
posted by jeather at 5:53 AM on September 3, 2012


Canadians began a period of massive government research and development after the Americans dropped the ball in 1919. We are now decades ahead in viscous fluid storage technology.

Who are you going to turn to when we hit Peak Maple Syrup, huh? Vermont? Are you willing to bet your pancakes on it?


dammit, cenoxo
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:56 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have eaten
the maple syrup
that was in
the warehouse

and which
you were probably
saving
for waffles

Forgive me
it was delicious
so sweet
and so sticky
posted by Splunge at 6:03 AM on September 3, 2012 [59 favorites]


SYRUP PUN
posted by item at 6:06 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, the Canadians have a maple leaf as their national symbol.

Not many people know about the hidden clause in the Bretton Woods agreement pegging CAD notes to the Maple Standard.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:06 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Christ, a bottle of Canadian maple syrup is already more than a fiver in the UK. I predict sadly bereft pancakes and waffles on this side of the pond for quite a while.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:07 AM on September 3, 2012


This must have taken a long time to pull off. That's more maple syrup than will fit in an olympic swimming pool.

I amazed someone had the balls to do this. Every Canadian I've ever met has been kind, unassuming and ready to cut the bacon off your back if you fuck with their syrup or their ability to watch a hockey game.

Now both are happening at the same time. Things could get ugly up there.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:08 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Christ, a bottle of Canadian maple syrup is already more than a fiver in the UK.

Maybe this is just someone preparing for the new world economy, one that is driven by bottles of sweet gooey liquid.
posted by Fizz at 6:09 AM on September 3, 2012


See, this is another example of Metafilter flags completely failing me. There is no option for "This Comment Made me Crave Pancakes But I Don't Feel Like Going to the Supermarket Right Now." Thanks a lot PB.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 6:09 AM on September 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Dude, if you don't know where it is, just look it up on Google Maples.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yesterday I read about eleven tons of stolen elderberries! Crazy food swindles!
posted by cometwendy at 6:14 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm locking up my Canadian Bacon, just to be safe!
posted by HuronBob at 6:14 AM on September 3, 2012


I guess Vermonters can breathe a sigh of relief the invaders from the North won't be coming soon.
posted by tommasz at 6:15 AM on September 3, 2012


This is the only thing I know about maple syrup.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:15 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh crap, they got the honey too!
posted by HuronBob at 6:16 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyone figured out how to profit from this heist yet?
posted by butterstick at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2012


Breaking Bad: Canada.

We have socialized medicine here. Breaking Bad Canada is just a bored guy in a hospital chair reading a five-month old fashion magazine while he waits for the chemo IVs to finish dripping in.
posted by mhoye at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2012 [87 favorites]


I'd look to the Canadian Mint. It's how they're making the 100s have a maple syrup scent!
posted by dobbs at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crime might not pay, but sometimes, just sometimes, crime will cover your pancakes, waffles, and of course your side dishes made from pork with sweet, sweet deliciousness not just for you, but your children, your children's children, and so on.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:31 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


We need the president on this.
posted by R343L at 6:31 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's a *lot* of syrup by weight and by volume. You can't just load it on one truck and drive away. You'd need hundreds of tanker trucks, or dozens of rail cars. You don't just sneak in overnight and make off with it. Either the drums were empty to begin with, or there were many, many regular "deliveries" that were actually pick-ups. Either way, it was certainly an inside job, and I'm betting on fraud (the syrup was never there) rather than trying to actually steal millions of pounds of syrup.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:32 AM on September 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


So that works out to what, like $35 a gallon?
posted by saladin at 6:36 AM on September 3, 2012


My husband thought I was being impulsive when I bought a huge $25 jug of Grade B. Let's see who's "bad with money" when the neighbors show up, pancakes in hand, and pay $5 a pop for gooey relief.
posted by Mooseli at 6:38 AM on September 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


My kids like pancakes with their syrup.
posted by pashdown at 6:40 AM on September 3, 2012


Metafilter: $5 a pop for gooey relief.
posted by symbioid at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [25 favorites]


(same as in town)
posted by symbioid at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


We have socialized medicine here. Breaking Bad Canada is just a bored guy in a hospital chair reading a five-month old fashion magazine while he waits for the chemo IVs to finish dripping in.

Anyone who has seen the show knows (or should know) that Walter White isn't cooking meth to pay his hospital bills. He did it to provide for his family when he's gone. He even refuses treatment initially. Now he's doing it out of hubris.

As for the news item, a Maple syrup theft couldn't possibly be more Canadian unless they were stealing tuques at the same time.
posted by inthe80s at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This crime is pretty simple to solve; go around the province and offer people free maple syrup. the first person to turn down this delicious, liquid gold is your thief.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:49 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The thief was wearing a
WIDE-BRIMMED HAT.
She said she was headed to the city next to
THE BOSPORUS.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 6:52 AM on September 3, 2012 [42 favorites]


A semi full of bacon tipped over on the highway near my house last week. I'm not saying I stole the syrup, I'm just saying I'm two henhouses and a barge of frozen waffles away from a complete breakfast. (Pay no attention to the tanker full of orange juice in my driveway.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:52 AM on September 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


If only there was a Canadian superhero with a well developed sense of smell.
posted by arcticseal at 6:56 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Honey I Shrunk The Syrup Reserves.
posted by panaceanot at 6:57 AM on September 3, 2012


Quebec Police have been granted permission to tap RCMP resources to distill usable leads from the crime scene. Tips are slowly pouring in as their investigation heats up.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


"Misses Butterworth's stick-to-your-face fun time."

The closest that glass bitch gets to maple is if her cheap paper apron happens to be made from one of the trees.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


My girlfriend has no alibi.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:01 AM on September 3, 2012


Breaking Bad: Canada.

CUT TO:

An angry-looking Walter White standing in front of a STACK OF FIFTY-GALLON DRUMS painted with MAPLE LEAVES.


JESSE

YEAH! WAFFLES, BITCH!

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:20 AM on September 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Can someone explain the strategic part of this reserve to random internet furriner please?
posted by infini at 7:29 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What wood cause somebody to do such a thing? I feel sorry for the poor sap.
posted by hal9k at 7:32 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


In Canada, first you get the syrup , then you get the power, then you get the women.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on September 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Someone is poaching maple syrup from my mother's backyard. Maple syrup poaching is fairly highly on my list bizarre things to have discovered about Vermont. (That everyone has a falling down shed on their property is another.)

Coincidentally, it's presumably not the neighbours poaching the syrup. The line seems to run into the national forest.
posted by hoyland at 7:43 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Strange Brew Pt 2 will have Bob and Doug cracking this case wide open. I expect some choice syrup wrestling.
posted by arcticseal at 7:46 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Last week, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves) missing from a Quebec warehouse.

Am I the only one who read this a news the authorities had discovered the missing maple syrup?
posted by chavenet at 7:49 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


"We're going to need two Denny's, a Krusteaz, an IHOP and just about the biggest Aunt Jemima anyone's ever seen."
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:49 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well I guess the mobsters were due on maple street.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:50 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


All I can tell you is that the suspect had mousey hair, and was headed someplace with a sword on its flag.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:51 AM on September 3, 2012


A suspect has been detained in a small Colorado town.
posted by idiopath at 7:55 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Police in Vermont are upset over empty syrup containers
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:59 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


dobbs: "I'd look to the Canadian Mint. It's how they're making the 100s have a maple syrup scent!"

Nah, the maple scent is just from Canuck high rollers using them to snort pure maple sugar.
posted by idiopath at 8:05 AM on September 3, 2012


infini: "Can someone explain the strategic part of this reserve to random internet furriner please?"

Maple sap harvests are extremely variable, because sap flow is dependent on specific weather patterns (warm days and cold nights) that can't be reliably predicted. Rather than have extreme price volatility where the market is flooded on some years (driving prices down), and shortages on other years (driving prices up), they keep a reserve as a sort of buffer - filling the reserves in good years, selling it off on the dry years.

With stable prices, you can have big companies like Quaker Oats developing maple based recipes without the fear that they won't be able to afford the ingredients next year. And you have less fear that a glut year will drive down prices and mess up the farmers' margins.
posted by idiopath at 8:14 AM on September 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh, and the last important bit is that Maple Syrup is a significant percentage of the Canadian economy - the whole world loves it but it is only really harvestable in a mass scale in that small area around Quebec and Vermont.
posted by idiopath at 8:16 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Sap, hoyland, what they're poaching from your mother's yard is, presumably, maple sap. Unless I misunderstand and just has vats of syrup sitting back there. In which case, the Quebec authorities should maybe be notified.)
posted by maryr at 8:16 AM on September 3, 2012


Investigators continue to pour over clues, but the information stirred up is still too thin and has yet to solidify into a workable theory.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:17 AM on September 3, 2012


Dentists be damned — it's time to round up the usual suspects, including Bacon Maple Breakfast Rolls, Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup, Maple Syrup Pie, and Sour-Cream Pancakes with Sour-Cream Maple Syrup.
posted by cenoxo at 8:21 AM on September 3, 2012


infini: Maple syrup production only happens in the spring. Because it depends on the weather, it's highly variable. The reserve is a form of insurance against bad harvests.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:21 AM on September 3, 2012


Hmm, who would want to undermine Canada's economy or at least shake it up a little and cause volatility? What is the impact of climate change on maple syrup production these days? What are the forecasts?

*ponders sticky questions deeply*
posted by infini at 8:31 AM on September 3, 2012


I have to say, the thought of a maple syrup shortage really makes me nervous. VERY nervous.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:40 AM on September 3, 2012


A few thousand barrels of maple syrup removed. Please stop giving the night watchmen sleeping pills.
posted by asok at 8:43 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is pretty important news. Is there any way we can make this post sticky?
posted by mulligan at 8:46 AM on September 3, 2012


I am now sitting here in random South East Asia craving ... do you hear me salivate...craving maple sugar candy.

Jaggery! You can buy it in the market. Tastes quite similar.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2012


(Sap, hoyland, what they're poaching from your mother's yard is, presumably, maple sap. Unless I misunderstand and just has vats of syrup sitting back there. In which case, the Quebec authorities should maybe be notified.)

Good point. I assume it is abundantly clear I am not from Vermont.
posted by hoyland at 8:53 AM on September 3, 2012


Dammit! Did anyone know that frozen waffles actually have an expiration date?

*drinks syrup from bottle*
posted by orme at 8:57 AM on September 3, 2012


Meanwhile, Big Sugar has been suspiciously Diggin A Hole.
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:00 AM on September 3, 2012


Faint of Butt: Fake inventory as part of an investment manipulation or insurance scam? Wouldn't be the first time.

Sometimes, it's bank fraud where bogus inventory is used to collaterallize a line of credit.

Two examples from uni accounting class come to mind:

A petroleum distributor uses a tank of gasoline as collateral for a loan. Casual inspection of the tank shows it full as stated, but a dipstick shows that the tank is mostly full of water with a thin layer of gasoline on top.

Crazy Eddie, a regional US electronics & appliance chain, sells merchandise without cartons. The empty boxes are kept in the warehouse as "inventory" to satisfy the bank, at least until an examiner finds out how light a 1980s-era big screen tv shouldn't be.
posted by dr_dank at 9:00 AM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Now reach into that bag and get my wallet."
"How do I know which one is yours?"
"It's the one that says Bad Maplefucker on it."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:01 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Whoever did such a thing must have been pretty.... (sunglasses) syrup-titious.
posted by The otter lady at 9:03 AM on September 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


YEEEEEEEAH .... THESE PANCAKES ARE DELICIOUS
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:04 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Possible suspects have been sighted in Norway and Australia.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:07 AM on September 3, 2012


MONTREAL-LAND: "Montreal's mobsters are by far the most significant gangsters in the world -- outpacing the notorious Five Families of New York that became synonymous with sophisticated crime."

"The territory under its control is huge—more than a million square miles of Quebec and Ontario directly fall under the influence covered an area larger than one-quarter the size of the entire United States. It includes major cities, the busiest border crossings between the U.S. and Canada, and many mature Mafia clans that are, by and large, cooperating under the Sixth Family’s banner. Where American Mafia bosses controlled criminal activity in portions of a city or a New York borough or the criminal activity in an industrial or commercial sector—such as construction or New York’s garment district—the Sixth Family was an enterprise with a true global reach"

posted by Bwithh at 9:08 AM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Crazy Eddie, a regional US electronics & appliance chain, sells merchandise without cartons. The empty boxes are kept in the warehouse as "inventory" to satisfy the bank, at least until an examiner finds out how light a 1980s-era big screen tv shouldn't be.

Wow. That's...a short term plan.
posted by jaduncan at 9:11 AM on September 3, 2012


"Montreal's mobsters are by far the most significant gangsters in the world -- outpacing the notorious Five Families of New York that became synonymous with sophisticated crime."

Heh. The Mafiya says really, tovarishch? Yebat vashu mat. Wake them up when the Montreal Mob are heavily integrated with the machinery of government, have significant crossover with owners of the largest companies in their state, and have extensive allies in all of the security services.

Even the Zetas probably roll their eyes.
posted by jaduncan at 9:22 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain the strategic part of this reserve to random internet furriner please?

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/why-does-canada-have-a-strategic-maple-syrup-reserve/261869
/
posted by RobotHero at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jaggery! You can buy it in the market. Tastes quite similar.

Not really. I have some in the kitchen. Maple sugar candy is crumblier and has a very different melt in the mouth taste and texture. Jaggery is hard and a little more damp (look at the pic). Flavour is different as well. (It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars, moisture content of up to 20%, and the remainder made up of other insoluble matter such as wood ash, proteins and bagasse fibers.[1]

Otoh gula melaka might work to satisfice the craving
posted by infini at 9:33 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lydia could get 10 million pounds of syrup out out of a warehouse. That's what she does.
posted by birdherder at 9:36 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The territory under its control is huge—more than a million square miles of Quebec and Ontario directly fall under the influence covered an area larger than one-quarter the size of the entire United States.

For this to be possible, they'd have to control all of Ontario and Quebec, including all the bodies of water and the vast, empty wastelands.

And that's patently ridiculous. I mean, for one thing, the biker gangs have a pretty tight grip on most of the beaver ponds.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Invert Sugar is my new drag name.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 AM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


The thief was wearing a
WIDE-BRIMMED HAT.
She said she was headed to the city next to
THE BOSPORUS.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 9:52 AM on September 3 [17 favorites +] [!]


Are you saying it was... Carmen SandiEggo?
posted by dywypi at 9:44 AM on September 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


In Canada, first you get the syrup , then you get the power, then you get the women.

Oh Jesus I laughed so hard that cheese curds came flying out both my nostrils. Oh it couldn't be fraud...fraud has never been committed in Quebec. *looks sideways in sarcastic manner*
posted by jimmythefish at 9:51 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The maple syrup strategic reserves seem to be an implementation of the "ever-normal granary" that Michael Pollan describes in Omnivore's Dilemma, and that Nixon did away with in favor of programs that encouraged as much production as possible.

If some knowledgable soul could compare and contrast the implementation and effectiveness of Canadian price controls on maple syrup versus American controls on corn syrup, I would be a very happy breakfaster.

(Metafilter is the only place where I feel comfortable making these outlandish special requests. My expectations here have been permanently heightened ever since I received an instant answer to my question about the composition of the paint used to write vessel names on the sides of the space shuttles.)
posted by compartment at 9:55 AM on September 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Last week, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves)

I love the fact that we have reserves of maple syrup. Other coutries make sure they won't run out of oil or natural gas, but in Canada the feared tragedy, the thing that might bring the country to its knees, is not having anything to put on our pancakes. Oh, the humanity!!
posted by anothermug at 10:00 AM on September 3, 2012


Wow. That's...a short term plan.
posted by jaduncan


But it looks like it got him a long term ........ in jail.
<sunglasses off>
YEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
posted by benito.strauss at 10:03 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Other coutries make sure they won't run out of oil or natural gas, but in Canada the feared tragedy, the thing that might bring the country to its knees, is not having anything to put on our pancakes.

Well, have you tried putting oil or natural gas on pancakes? It's horrible!
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:05 AM on September 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


For all the joking around I still find this an astonishing crime. How big is 10 million pounds of syrup? Is it possible that the theft took place over years? Yeah, I'm going with either the fraud angle (it was never there in the first place) or an inside job that just continued on for months, if not years.

And if it isn't fraud, how on earth are the thieves going to profitably dispose of 10 million pounds of maple syrup? How much maple syrup is sold in a year? How long is the shelf life? It seems like a lot of work for something that isn't gold or banknotes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:19 AM on September 3, 2012


Mexico is facing an egg shortage, China discovered tainted antibiotics in it's pharmacies, the Canadian maple syrup reserve was looted, and Australia is running low on anti-venom for the deadly funnel-web spider.

We should be wary of taking these shortages lightly.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:27 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, it's a little gold.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:28 AM on September 3, 2012


Is nothing safe anymore? Excuse me while I go and get a padlock for the pantry.

*Looks suspiciously at Mrs A and the cat*
posted by arcticseal at 10:40 AM on September 3, 2012


And if it isn't fraud, how on earth are the thieves going to profitably dispose of 10 million pounds of maple syrup? How much maple syrup is sold in a year? How long is the shelf life? It seems like a lot of work for something that isn't gold or banknotes.

Check the big oil ships on their way back.
posted by infini at 10:47 AM on September 3, 2012


Who here likes pancakes?

Because I might have 10 million pounds of something to put on pancakes.

Seriously, how did we get 100+ comments in without somebody saying that?
posted by jocelmeow at 10:51 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


eh, it's not just for lots of pancakes, eh, it also makes for lots of souvenirs (mildly NSFW), eh?

am I doing the 'eh' thing right?"
posted by Bwithh at 10:59 AM on September 3, 2012


Secret Life, maple syrup lasts pretty much forever. I mean, it would if the whole bottle didn't get used within a few delicious hours.

I think it would be easy to sell in large quantities to various food companies that use or distribute syrup. On the other hand, anyone with the resources to commit a crime like this can probably afford a horse, buggy, some glass bottles, and travel around pretending to be Mennonnites.
posted by windykites at 11:00 AM on September 3, 2012


I had been dating my husband for about four or five years when he learned that I didn't like maple syrup. The look of confusion and hurt on his face has never left my mind's eye.
posted by KathrynT at 11:01 AM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


The Glatun are here.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:23 AM on September 3, 2012


This is an absolutely viscous crime, and tacky in its execution, but even if they track down the thieves, I'm sure they'll adhere to their statement of innocence. What a bunch of crepes!

Is it warm in here, or is it just me? I'm bacon.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


What we had has come and gone
posted by flabdablet at 11:39 AM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. That's...a short term plan.

There's a reason he's not called Rational and Contemplative Eddie.
posted by zippy at 11:39 AM on September 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


I guess someone must've figured out that, as long as there's an illusion of a reserve, that's all that's needed to keep the price of the stuff stable, so if the price is high and you can suddenly find yourself with more inventory (because the reserve barrels were never filled), I'd say someone cleaned up nicely. So definitely an inside job, and definitely multiple actors, making this a conspiracy. That's right, this a maple syrup conspiracy that might lead all the way up to the very highest corridors of power in ole Canada.

Also this reminds me of the Wall Street crisis of 2008...In the way that all these barrels were empty, but gave the appearance of value, this reminds me a lot of the investment banks that were bundling derivatives with toxic assets (in the form of bad mortgages) and selling them. I mean that was about how creating the illusion of value, out of nothing as well.



Maple Syrup tip: Use a small dallop of it in coffee instead of sugar. It's quite delicious. And very addicting...
posted by Skygazer at 11:44 AM on September 3, 2012


The US Maple Syrup Crisis of 2012

Quebec strategic reserve also vital to US interests!
posted by Bwithh at 12:18 PM on September 3, 2012


Someones slingin' mad volume and fat stackin' benjis.
posted by sfts2 at 12:55 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someones slingin' mad volume and fat stackin' benjis bobbies.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I often use maple syrup when making teriyaki sauce. It replaces the sugar and adds a subtle flavor component that people notice but can't figure out. Like adding cinnamon to chili.
posted by Splunge at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


KathrynT: "I had been dating my husband for about four or five years when he learned that I didn't like maple syrup. The look of confusion and hurt on his face has never left my mind's eye."

I don't really like maple syrup either. I grew up and still live in the Midwest. I've always preferred Log Cabin or, even better, my mother's homemade syrup made from molasses, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and other secret ingredients.

If I ever come to New England, I want to try the grade B maple syrup. Maybe that will change my mind.

My decision to make waffles for lunch was greatly impacted by this post.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2012


this weekend I made fruit salad and topped it with a mixture of maple syrup and sour cream.. highly recommended.

also good is maple syrup and soy sauce on steamed broccoli
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:36 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


My back-of-the-envelope math puts this at 40 train tanker cars full of syrup. But then I realized that the extent of the theft is not actually known yet, and the figure being given in the media is the total expected amount in the warehouse which has been robbed (some significant percentage of total). Less ridiculous, but still ridiculous.
posted by mek at 2:54 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is John Ringo involved?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:53 PM on September 3, 2012


I want to try the grade B maple syrup.

I love this stuff, it's just so much better. Really potent maple flavour, but it's still pretty sweet. But much, much better for any cooking or baking use.
posted by mek at 4:36 PM on September 3, 2012


Ugh, you flatlanders can have the grade B.
posted by maryr at 5:33 PM on September 3, 2012


Maple syrup on cottage cheese. Yummmmmmmm.
posted by Go Banana at 5:49 PM on September 3, 2012


I smell a Super Troopers sequel.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If only there was a Canadian superhero with a well developed sense of smell.

We need Mr Canoehead. Clearly the maple syrup hiest is the work of the Ultramind.... or a rogue nun(sorry terrible video quality)
posted by chapps at 8:11 PM on September 3, 2012


I was more thinking this chap.
posted by arcticseal at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2012


My back-of-the-envelope math puts this at 40 train tanker cars full of syrup. But then I realized that the extent of the theft is not actually known yet, and the figure being given in the media is the total expected amount in the warehouse which has been robbed (some significant percentage of total). Less ridiculous, but still ridiculous.

My guess is that it was never there to begin with. Someone double sold the product, once to the cartel and once to the market. The stuff destined for the cartel's warehouses never got delivered.
posted by gjc at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


as long as there's an illusion of a reserve, that's all that's needed to keep the price of the stuff stable

I don't see how that works. As soon as there's a lean harvest year and customers keep buying at the stabilized price… pretty soon you need to sell them syrup from your reserve.
posted by hattifattener at 11:47 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


My bet's on an accouting fraud - the maple syrup never existed and they either didn't fill up the tanks when they said they did or filled one tank from another.
posted by Francis at 4:59 AM on September 4, 2012


Maple sap harvests are extremely variable, because sap flow is dependent on specific weather patterns (warm days and cold nights) that can't be reliably predicted. Rather than have extreme price volatility where the market is flooded on some years (driving prices down), and shortages on other years (driving prices up), they keep a reserve as a sort of buffer - filling the reserves in good years, selling it off on the dry years.

Or more likely - you can induce artificial scarcity making maple syrup ridiculously expensive. Maple syrups is the Canadian version of the diamond cartel.


My husband thought I was being impulsive when I bought a huge $25 jug of Grade B. Let's see who's "bad with money" when the neighbors show up, pancakes in hand, and pay $5 a pop for gooey relief.


Your husband is correct. You are bad with money. This chunk of syrup coming onto the market will lower maple syrup prices. It's not a syrup drought. It's a glut from the perspective of the big Syrup.
posted by srboisvert at 9:08 AM on September 4, 2012


In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is the syrup Maple. The syrup extends life. The syrup expands consciousness. The syrup is vital to space travel.
posted by dreamling at 11:22 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hattifattener: … pretty soon you need to sell them syrup from your reserve.

I am but a perplexed neophyte observing these activities in the netherworld of Canadian Maple Syrup hijinks, observing from afar, and wondering if there's a parallel with what took place on Wall Street (wondering if perhaps that corruption was the inspiration).

I couldn't even tell you the difference between Grade A or B or whatsiit, but even in a lean year, I doubt that more than a certain very controlled percentage of the reserves would be released to the market based on some set formula, so the fact that 1/4 of the Quebec strategic reserves were missing probably wouldn't even be noticed if they're not up front....or even there to begin with, but there's been no accurate third person audit.

I'd say the last really REALLy lean year the missing 10 million (possibly much more than that) pounds of maple syrup were released before the reserves were kicked in to stabilize the market and someone made a a serious mint. With that someone probably thinking there's be enough time to slowly replace the missing barrels next bumper crop with cheaper priced syrup.

That's how'd I'd do it, and if I was in the Canadian FBI, I'd be issuing subpoena's for bank records all over the place...and as someone already said, there needed to be an inside person (s) in on this.

Sort of the perfect caper, it sounds like someone became either sloppy or too greedy and it blew up in their face.

There's so many scheme like this though I imagine in every industry with people with the right connections, and industry knowledge or expertise and with, usually, some sort of government contract. All over the world, too.

But Canada?? And Maple Syrup??? *SMH*

Is nothing sacred to you canucks, besides hockey? Shame on you Canada. I used to admire you so very much....

Crazy Maple Syrup Mafia be crazy, yo....
posted by Skygazer at 1:18 PM on September 4, 2012


Yes the sticky sweet underbelly of the Canadian soul...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:36 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


If there's ever another season of The Wire I hope they find a way to work in the Canadian Maple Syrup Mafia Conspiracy.

Here's an excerpt:

Bunk: Fuck...

McNulty: FUCK!

Bunk: The Fuck??

McNulty: Pass the pancakes...

Bunk: Pass yo asscakes...
posted by Skygazer at 3:33 PM on September 4, 2012


I couldn't even tell you the difference between Grade A or B or whatsiit

Grade A is preferred by retail and is more expensive. Grade B is deeply and darkly delicious but much more variable in taste.
posted by srboisvert at 2:12 PM on September 5, 2012


Oh, and the last important bit is that Maple Syrup is a significant percentage of the Canadian economy

This link says 600 million for Maple Syrup economic activity. Noticeable in a GDP of ~1.6 Trillion but it's not even a 1/10 of 1 percent of the Canadian economy.
posted by Mitheral at 5:47 PM on September 5, 2012


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