Maple Syrup Grades
Golden Color: Delicate Taste
Grade A Golden Color is just what it sounds, the lightest in color and flavor of the different grades. Due to its delicate flavor it is commonly used on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream, as well as in the making of maple candy and cream. Golden may be the best grade to start with if you are a frequent user of store bought pancake syrups, as its mild caramel taste holds wide appeal.
Amber Color: Rich Taste
Grade A Amber Color syrup is a shade darker than Golden, and has a stronger maple flavor. This grade is the most popular with consumers and is what is found in most grocery stores and restaurants.
Dark Color: Robust Taste
Grade A Dark Color syrup has a robust flavor and full bodied Maple flavor. Connoisseurs looking for intense maple flavor will find Dark to be a perfect fit. Often used for cooking, baking, and flavoring, Dark offers the most pronounced flavor for those looking for true Maple taste.
Very Dark Color: Strong Taste
Grade A Very Dark Color syrup often comes at the end of the season, when the trees begin to bud. As the sap becomes richer in its mineral content the flavor becomes more pronounced. Very Dark is often used by commercial chefs seeking a strong maple flavor in their products.
Maple Syrup Facts
- It takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup.
- A gallon of maple syrup weights 11 pounds.
- Tapping a tree does no permanent damage to a maple tree, only 10% of sap is collected and many trees can be tapped for several decades.
- Each tap only produces 10 gallons of sap a year, yielding just one quart per tap.
- A maple season depends on the spring weather, producers want warm sunny days with cool freezing nights.
- Maple Syrup contains only 50 calories per tablespoon.
Other Uses for Maple Syrup
Everyone knows you can use maple syrup for pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods, but did you know maple syrup has many other uses as well? Below are just a few examples of the many uses for maple syrup.
- Making cocktails? Substitute maple syrup for sugar in an old fashioned.
- As part of a glaze for pork, fish, or chicken
- Homemade vinegar or salad dressing.
- Add flavor to your sweet potatoes, carrots, and any other root vegetable.
- Drizzle syrup over vanilla ice-cream or yogurt.