Pure Maple Syrup is made by removing the water from the maple sap by boiling it. The boiling is what gives Pure Maple Syrup its flavor and color. There is no substitute for the taste of Pure Maple Syrup.
The early season sap has a higher sugar content, so less boiling is required. It’s lighter in color, or “Golden/Delicate Flavor” by grade.
As the season progresses (usually March in our neck of the woods), the buds on the trees use the sugar to turn into leaves. This means more boiling and a darker color for the Pure Maple Syrup. This turns it into a grade called “Amber/Rich Flavor,” then “Dark/Robust Flavor.”
The final grade for Pure Maple Syrup is “Very Dark/Strong” or “Very Strong Flavor.” This grade is recommended for cooking, although many like it for general table use as well.
With modern technology, new methods and efficient evaporators, we can make more of the delicious Pure Maple Syrup we all enjoy.