Maple Syrup Producers Change The Grading System To Reflect Taste
Grades have long been awarded to reflect the quality of work or product. You get As in school if you produce good quality dishes, and grade A eggs have thick whites and firm yolks. Maple syrup also gets a grade. However, that letter is not like those of other grading systems. Where As denote perfection in many places, A in maple syrup refers to the taste of the product, and not quality. Syrup producers in Vermont have decided that the old system doesn’t accurately reflect their products, and have designed a new grade structure.
Letter versus quality
As a student of an online baking program, you want to be sure you get the best ingredients. That’s why you choose AA-grade eggs for your baked goods, and it may also compel you to choose grade A maple syrup. However, just because you reach for that bottle doesn’t mean you’re getting a better product. What most consumers don’t know about the assessment of real maple syrup is that the letters actually refer to taste.
According to National Public Radio, the current system awards the A to three types of maple syrup: light, medium and dark amber. The lighter the color of the syrup, the more delicate and subtle the flavor. The darker the tone, the richer the maple taste. The current system gives very dark syrup a B, and even darker varieties are called “commercial grade.”
Consumers prefer B
Because the letter in the current maple syrup grading system reflects taste and not quality, producers believed it was misleading. The new system was designed to remove the prejudice surrounding B-grade syrups. Now every variety is listed as A, but the color and description changes. In fact, labels will be required to include information on grade, color and flavor. You’ll find golden (delicate flavor), amber (rich taste), dark (robust taste) and very dark (strong taste) at grocery stores.
“Over time, we’ve seen a trend with folks preferring the darker, stronger-flavored syrups, and so this will allow more of that type of product to be available to consumers,” Emma Marvin, one of the owners of Butternut Mountain Farm, told the source.
Cooking with syrups
Each type of syrup performs better for different uses. While golden and amber are great on top of a stack of pancakes, their flavor can be lost when baked into a maple cupcake. For this reason, you might go for dark or very dark when making a new recipe to earn your online baking certificate.
Subscribe to our blog and stay up to date with Escoffier Online, industry news and the newest cooking trends!