Grade A Fancy maple syrup is what you might call the firstfruits of the maple harvest because it’s harvested at the beginning of the season. Fancy maple syrup has the lightest color and also the lightest, most delicate maple flavor of all the maple grades, so it works better as a pancake topping than it does for baking.
Medium Amber (Grade A) is, according to the grower, the most popular of all the grades because it’s so versatile. Darker than the fancy, medium amber syrup is light enough to enjoy on your pancakes and waffles, but strong enough to add a nice maple flavor to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. If you’re stuck on which grade to order, this is the one we’d recommend.
The next darkest grade is called Dark Amber (Grade A). As the maple season progresses, the syrup darkens and develops a more robust mapl-y flavor. Dark amber is the darkest grade we’re offering this season. (There is one even darker and more strongly flavored, the Grade B syrup, but due to unusually warm weather, the farm didn’t harvest any grade B syrup this year .) Dark amber is the best choice for cooking and baking because it imparts the most maple flavor to your recipe. Pour dark amber syrup over baked apples or squash, or use it as a glaze for roasted meats and veggies.
One more thing about the different grades. Although you might expect the darker syrups to be thicker and sweeter than the lighter ones, all of the grades have the same density, and the same amount of natural sugars, so one is just as sweet and equally as thick as the other.
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Maple candy and maple cream… Yum!