Making Sense of Maple Grades


Wondering what to do with different grades of maple syrup?  What is the difference and why are they different?  Here's a explanation to clarify your questions:

Golden Delicate: This grade is made earlier in the season during colder climates.  It is subtle and buttery in flavour.  Golden is best used with foods that do not overpower it's delicate flavour.  This is my favourite grade of all!

Amber Rich:  This distinctive grade is made mid-season when the temperatures begin to warm.  It is darker in colour and in maple intensity than Golden Delicate and can be used as a table syrup and with any foods.

Dark Robust:  This syrup is made late in the season when the sugar content of the sap has dropped.  It takes more sap to produce this grade resulting in a darker colour and more intense maple flavour.  This grade is best used in cooking and with very strong tasting foods.

There is a fourth grade produced each season, however, it is a commercial grade called Very Dark Strong and is used by commercial brands for food production.  It has a very robust maple flavour.

The sap is running right now in Vermont and I have my sap boiling on the stove as I write this.  My kitchen smells amazing!


Dori Ross


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