collecting maple sap for maple syrup
December 17th marks National Maple Syrup Day, and what better way is there to celebrate the splendor of maple syrup than to add a little to all of your dishes for the day? With its unique and delicious flavor and so many scientifically-proven health benefits, it is no wonder that an entire day has been devoted to all things maple syrup.
Maple syrup is a wonderful addition to any and all of your favorite recipes, and you can easily add it to any meal to kick things up a notch. The new maple syrup grades introduced this year are all classified as Grade A syrup, but they each offer their own unique flavor profile. So, what class of Grade A maple syrup is best? That answer is entirely dependent on your taste buds, so it is well worth taking the time to try each variety to find out which type of Grade A pure maple syrup you love the most. The lightest, and most mildly-flavored variety is Grade A Golden (also known as Grade A Light Golden), and it is excellent for those who prefer just a hint of maple flavor. After Grade A Golden is Grade A Amber, followed by Grade A Dark and Grade A Extra Dark. No matter what you choose, however, pure maple syrup is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as manganese, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and several B vitamins—and they all work together to boost your heart health and immune system.
There are endless culinary possibilities and health-boosting benefits when it comes to maple syrup, so you don’t need to wait until National Maple Day to celebrate this wonder food. Celebrate maple syrup year-round and you’ll enjoy tastier food and better health!
Despite the fact that maple syrup grades are often seen as confusing, the letters on the bottle do mean something. Currently, the USDA’s grading system has maple syrup divided into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A syrup further breaks down into three sub-grades: Light Amber, Medium Amber, and Dark Amber—and Grade B has no sub-grades. The new international grading system will classify all maple syrups as Grade A pure maple syrup. The lightest, and most subtly-flavored variety will be Grade A Golden (also known as Grade A Light Golden), followed by Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Very Dark.
Maple syrup grading is primarily based on the color of the syrup. Maple syrups which are produced earlier in the sugaring season have a lighter color, whereas the syrups produced later in the season are much darker. In terms of flavor, lighter syrups have a noticeably delicate maple taste and darker syrups offer much more robust and intense maple notes. All lovers of maple syrup will easily be able to find a Grade A real maple syrup variety that they will adore.
Being one of the most versatile sweeteners on the market, maple syrup offers an abundance of flavor which is ideal for countless culinary dishes and baked goods. It is well worthy of being a pantry staple for anyone looking to enhance their meals, and the new grading system will make it even easier to figure out what you’re buying in terms of flavor.
Varieties of Grade A Maple Syrup
The systems for grading maple syrup have been different in the United States and Canada for as long as maple syrup has been graded, and it has been a source of frustration and confusion for maple enthusiasts who want to try products from the world’s two biggest maple syrup producers. Consumers will rejoice when they find out that the International Maple Syrup Institute has developed an international set of new maple syrup grades as a way to simplify this very issue—and they will be fully implemented over the next couple of years.
As of now, the U.S. breaks down maple syrup into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A breaks down into three sub-grades: Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. Canada’s grading system is based on a number scale. Canada #1 includes Extra Light (also known as AA), Light (A), and Medium (B). Canada #2 is Amber, which is also known as C, and lastly, #3 is known as Dark, or D. Because the three Canada #1 grades are essentially identical to the three sub-grades of U.S. Grade A maple syrup, it makes much more sense to create a universal grading system to eliminate mass confusion. Under the new grading system, there will be just one grade available for retail purchase: Grade A. There will also be a Processing Grade maple syrup which will only be available for commercial use. Grade A maple syrup will be divided into four classes: Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Very Dark. In addition to making maple syrup grades easier to understand, one of the biggest benefits of changing the grading system is that it will help to eliminate discrimination of Grade B. Selling it under Grade A Very Dark will make people more likely purchase it, and this way, the maple syrup industry can raise equalize the cost of all grades.
No matter what your maple syrup grade preferences are, you will still be able to find what you love once the change goes into effect.