Ben Explains the System for Grading Maple Syrup
The maple syrup grading system is based on syrup color and was established by the USDA.
Maple syrup is divided into two grades, A or B, based on color and flavor. The lighter grades of syrup usually are produced earlier in the season when the colder temperatures produce the purest sap. The color of maple syrup does not indicate anything about the purity or the quality of the syrup – it only indicates the flavor strength. The darker the syrup color, the stronger the flavor of the syrup.
Grade A is not any better in quality than Grade B. it is just about your personal preference. The darker the syrup, the stronger and more “mapley” the flavor. The clarity and color of maple syrup depends on a variety of factors including weather, length of storage, and methods of processing, including gathering, boiling, and filtering.
Grade A Medium Amber is the most popular grade sold because it is most like the imitation maple-flavored syrup sold in supermarkets. Many people now prefer Grade B for table syrup, which is traditionally used for cooking because it has the strongest maple flavor.
|Grade A Light Amber||the most delicate maple flavor, thin-bodied|
|Grade A Medium Amber||stronger yet mild maple flavor, medium-bodied|
|Grade A Dark Amber||robust maple flavor, full-bodied|
|Grade B||strongest maple flavor, thickest & most full-bodied|
What is your favorite grade of maple syrup?