I saw mention of Rainbow Grocery on Yelp. I thought, “oh that’s nice, another snazzy grocery store.” Boy was I wrong.
Their cheese shop is quite formidable. I think I counted 4 wild-picked mushroom varieties and at least another 5 varieties present! Their spices and bulk food sections are exceptional. It is crunchy-granola heaven. And, they have a huge variety of exciting specialty foods.
But most important of all, they have a tap stuck out of a 55 gallon drum of Vermont Grade B Maple Syrup! And while Charlotte gave me a tremendous gift by finding and bringing Trader Joes Maple Syrup all the way from Boston, this…. THIS is the stuff! I just compared them head to head and all it takes is a glance to tell the difference. The Coomb’s syrup is darker, thicker and has a richer smell. And the taste… now I’ll say that Trader Joe’s makes a fine syrup. It really is. In fact, it’s probably what more people would prefer. But this is maple syrup that tastes like driving past a sugar house in early spring with the billowing steam that you’d say looks dangerous until you roll your window down and then the smell encompasses you like a jet plane diving into a cloudbank. It’s like living in another, infinitely more delicate world for a million years in a second. It brings to mind the colors of the ground during mud season when the melting snow, recently uncovered grass and previously frozen dirt turn into a slippery, boot-sucking menace with deep scars where vehicles foolishly tried to cross from the driveway to the relative safety of black-top.
Good maple syrup makes me so happy. Thank you Charlotte. Thank you Rainbow Grocery. Thank you Coomb’s Family of Brattleboro Vermont!