Pure maple syrup is made from concentrated maple tree sap.
The Canadian grading system divides maple syrup into two different categories: Grade A and a food-processing grade. Bottled and canned maple syrups are all Grade A, while processing-grade syrups are used only as an ingredient in the food production industry and cannot be sold in stores.
Grade A maple syrup must be clear, have no objectionable odour or taste and must show a characteristic maple flavour.
Grade A maple syrups are divided into four colours with taste descriptors: golden with a delicate taste, amber with a rich taste, dark with a robust taste, and very dark with a strong taste. The colour is expressed in terms of percentage of light transmittance and is measured with an instrument called a spectrophotometer. Generally speaking, the lighter the colour grade, the more delicate the flavour and the darker the colour grade, the stronger the taste though they all have the same nutritional values.
The colour of maple syrup depends on when it was produced during the season, there is no additional colouring or change in the manufacturing process. The composition of maple sap changes due to warming temperatures during the same harvest season: at the beginning, we get light syrup, while at the end, the syrup becomes darker.
Pure maple syrup does not contain any additives or preservatives.
Colour and clarity depend upon the weather, the cleanliness of the tools, the regularity of gathering, and the manner of boiling and straining. As for the flavour, it depends on imponderable qualities: the tree itself, the location, the soil, etc.
These factors are important in determining the commercial value of maple syrup but are not essential to the identity of maple syrup as such. Maple sap, and nothing else, is the essential ingredient.
GOLDEN DELICATE TASTE – Produced at the very beginning of the season
COLOUR*: 75 – 100% TASTE AND FLAVOUR**: SUBTLE
Flavour intensity is low, subtle. Typical aromas are floral, light confectionery, vanilla and fruit-like.
Adds a delicate sweetness and subtle maple taste to dishes and meals. Maple syrup flavour is very light and will blend with other aromatic compounds. Use in delicately flavoured dishes and desserts.
SUGGESTED USAGE: Use as a topping on fruits like strawberries, bananas and mangoes or to sweeten light vinaigrettes and white sauces.
AMBER RICH TASTE – Produced in the middle of the season
COLOUR*: 50 – 74.9% TASTE AND FLAVOUR**: BALANCED
A perfect balance between flavour intensity and taste. Typical aromas are mild, light caramel and maple, with hints of vanilla.
This is the best-selling grade in Canada and the US.
SUGGESTED USAGE: Use as a topping on French crêpes, waffles and pancakes. Sweeten plain yogurt and granola. Use in sauce or as a glaze. If you buy only one grade, choose this one because it’s the most versatile.
DARK ROBUST TASTE – Produced near the end of the season
COLOUR*: 25 – 49.9% TASTE AND FLAVOUR**: FOR MAPLE LOVERS
Pronounced maple flavour with hints of caramel, toffee and dark coffee aromas. Sometimes has a slight smoky finish but not as much as the very dark grade.
Maple syrup farmer’ favourite grade.
SUGGESTED USAGE: Use as a table syrup or for baking. It gives more flavour and has a longer finish than Amber. Excellent on oatmeal, chicken sauté, and as a sweetener in coffee and tea. Stronger flavour of this grade will remain after baking.
VERY DARK STRONG TASTE – Produced at the very end of the season
COLOUR*: 0 – 24.9% TASTE AND FLAVOUR**: FOR COOKING
Made using maple syrup from the end of the season, this grade has the strongest flavour profile. Typical flavours: black coffee, chocolate, toast, nuts, molasses. May have a slightly bitter finish.
Use when you need a strong maple flavour to compete against others flavours. Will add dark coloration to meals. Normally used as an ingredient and not served as a table syrup.
SUGGESTED USAGE: Use as a glaze on pork and beef, in dark sauces, or meals involving smoke or grill (like BBQ). Great for baking.
Our organic maple syrups are all certified by Ecocert Canada – both the farm and bottling plant are inspected annually and must meet strict guidelines for organic certification (no pesticides, organic farming practices, use only regulated cleaners, labelling approved by Ecocert Canada, all syrup batches coded for organic audit control, etc.)
Maple syrup is only produced in eastern North America. 70 to 75% of the world production comes form Quebec.
Each tree produces an average of one litre (one quart) of maple syrup each year or 40 litres (10.56 US gallons )of sap converted to maple syrup.
It takes 40 litres (10.56 US gallons) of maple sap to produce 1 litre (one quart) of pure maple syrup.
The harvest is about six weeks long in March and April every year.
Unopened containers will keep for a minimum of three years. Store in a dark, cool place. Opened containers must be kept in the refrigerator and will keep up to one year.