There are different maple syrup grades, just as there are different types of sugar. Sap tapped at the beginning of the harvest season is generally clearer and lighter in taste. As the season advances, maple syrup becomes darker and more caramelized in flavor. Pure Canadian maple syrup is categorized and graded according to color, clarity, density and strength of maple flavor. The natural sweetener offers a variety of flavor components, including; nutty, vanilla, coffee, floral and spicy flavors.
Grade A maple syrup is intended for everyday use and can easily be found in grocery stores. Grade A flavor changes from light and delicate to robust and strong in taste and can be divided into four categories: Golden, Delicate taste; Amber, Rich taste; Dark, Robust taste; and Very Dark, strong taste (formerly known as Grade B), which are all much lighter in color and intensity than Grade B maple syrup. Curious how to use the different grades of maple syrup for cooking? Grade A Golden, Delicate taste works well in salad vinaigrettes, whereas Grade A Medium and Dark taste delicious on pancakes.