Vermont To McDonald's: Don't Mess With Our Syrup
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Local food cultures can cause trouble for large national chains. In Vermont, McDonalds came up against a state law that says products claiming to use maple ingredients actually have to use the real stuff.
Vermont Public Radios Charlotte Albright placed an order to see what shed get.
CHARLOTTE ALBRIGHT: McDonalds is still dishing out its artificially flavored Fruit and Maple oatmeal, but now, if you ask for it in Vermont, you can get extra real maple on the side.
Hi, could I have some oatmeal please, and Ive heard somewhere, that I could get some maple syrup, as of today?
As of today, without correction or comment, the server handed over the usual steaming paper cup of oatmeal topped with raisins and fresh apple chunks. At the bottom of the bag there was a tiny packet labeled Vermont maple sugar. Not syrup, sugar. I noticed another woman eating her oatmeal in her car. Cathy Nash is a regular here.
Ms. CATHY NASH: I asked for the real maple syrup.
ALBRIGHT: But she didnt get it, either.
Ms. NASH: It was a powder.
ALBRIGHT: Did that disappoint you? Did you want the real syrup?
Ms. NASH: I thought it might be a little container of syrup. So I was like oh, well see what it tastes like and I stirred it in. It was really awesome.
ALBRIGHT: That would please the man who owns this franchise. The only problem, Jim Bartley says, is that he, and not the corporation, has to foot the bill for the free packets of genuine Vermont maple sugar. He wont say how hard that hits his bottom line.
For NPR News, Im Charlotte Albright, in Northern Vermont.
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