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The syrup formerly known as Grade B has that extra maple oomph

Margaret Eby
September 06, 2018

Maple syrup is delicious. You knew that. It's great on pancakes, and as a sweetener in baked goods, and even as an easy way to add something to your morning yogurt. But what you may not realize is that there are different kinds of maple syrup, and some kinds are way more maple-y than others. I'm not talking about real maple syrup versus the fake stuff, I'm talking about maple syrup grades here. And friends, in the very recent past, there has been some grade inflation. 

Most maple syrup you see on the grocery store shelves is Grade A, Amber Color Rich Taste. This was previously known as Grade A Medium Amber before the maple syrup rating system changed several years ago. That's excellent for most of your classic maple syrup applications like waffles and adding a touch of sweetness to things. But if you're looking for something that can really add some maple oomph to your cooking—like in cookies or barbecue sauce—you want to look beyond Grade A Amber Rich.

What you want is Grade B—or what used to be known as Grade B. Nowadays you can find this syrup, which comes from the tailend of the sap collection process and is much stronger than the usual stuff, under the name "Grade A: Dark Color, Robust Taste." This can easily overwhelm dishes that would be perfect with the lighter stuff but it's excellent when you want something to have a strong maple flavor. I like it in particular when using maple syrup in cocktails. It's a nice replacement for simple syrup, and it can interact really well with bourbon, scotch, or rye, when you're say, making maple syrup old fashioneds. Just go a little easier on it than you would with the regular stuff and enjoy that robust flavor.

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