Natural Foods Merchandiser

Maple syrup grades

Pure maple syrup is graded according to U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations and is based on both color and flavor—not quality. Some states use a slightly different terminology, as does Canada, but the legal requirements for each grade are the same, regardless of what they are called.

Grade characteristics
Grade A Light Amber is very light and has a mild, more delicate maple flavor. It is usually made earlier in the spring when the weather is colder. This is the best grade for making maple candy and maple cream.

Grade A Medium Amber is a bit darker and has a bit more maple flavor. It is the most popular grade of table syrup, and is usually made after the sugaring season begins to warm, about mid-spring.

Grade A Dark Amber is darker yet, with a stronger maple flavor. It is usually made later in the season as the days get longer and warmer.

Grade B, sometimes called cooking syrup, is made late in the season and is very dark, with a strong maple flavor, as well as some caramel flavor. Although many people use this for table syrup, because of its strong flavor it’s often used for cooking, baking and flavoring.

Source: Adapted from the Massachusetts
Maple Producers Association

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.