What is grade b maple syrup?

Written by becky salmela haase
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What is grade b maple syrup?
Maple syrup adds natural sweetness to cooking and meals. (pancake 2 image by align caldwell from Fotolia.com)

Pure maple syrup is used in cooking and to smother over breakfast favourites, like pancakes, waffles and French toast. Maple syrup grades classify the syrup's colour, which is usually a visual indication of its flavour.

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USDA Grades

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assigns grades to maple syrup based on colour. The grades allow for a standardised comparison known as the USDA permanent glass colour standards for maple syrup. The colour refers to the amber quality of the syrup, which is ranked from light to dark. The USDA maple syrup grades are A and B. Syrups that don't meet the classification are designated for commercial use.

What is grade b maple syrup?
The lightness or darkness of the syrup determines its grade. (Canada image by Kob from Fotolia.com)

Grade A vs. Grade B

USDA Grade A maple syrup is light in colour from light amber to dark amber. Light amber syrup has a delicate maple flavour, while dark amber is robust. Grade B is darker and stronger in flavour. It is generally preferred for cooking, although some desire its rich flavour for their breakfast dishes as well.

Grade B syrup is usually reserved for cooking, as opposed to the lighter Grade A.
Grade B syrup is usually reserved for cooking, as opposed to the lighter Grade A. (pancake stack image by msw from Fotolia.com)

Making the Grade

When and where the sap was gathered will later determine the grade of the syrup. Maple syrup comes from sap, which is gathered from maple trees in the spring. Sap gathered early in the season usually produces the light amber Grade A syrups. Sap gathered late produces the darker Grade B syrups. \

What is grade b maple syrup?
Grade B syrups usually are produced from late-season saps. (Collecting the sap from a maple tree image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com)

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