Maple syrup is a precious gift from nature with unique flavors and rich elements.Tapping maple trees is a tradition spanning hundreds of years. Dating back to the 17th century, early settlers in the Northeast US and Canada learned about sugar maples from the Native Americans. Generally the sap starts to flow between mid-February and mid-March. Sap flows when daytime temperatures rise above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 Celsius) and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing. Taps are drilled about two inches deep into the tree.The sap comes out of the trees at around two percent sugar.
Pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but offers nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. At the same time, maple syrup has a higher concentration of minerals and antioxidants, yet fewer calories than honey.
In Canada, there are two grades of maple syrup "Canada Grade A" and "Canada Processing Grade".
Maple syrup graded "Canada Grade A" must be maple syrup that
- (a) has a minimum soluble solids content of 66% and a maximum soluble solids content of 68.9% as determined by a refractometer or hydrometer at 20°C;
- (b) is free from fermentation;
- (c) is uniform in colour and free from sediment and any cloudiness or turbidity;
- (d) has a colour class, as determined in accordance with section 5; and
- (e) has a maple flavour characteristic of its colour class and is free from any objectionable odour or taste.
- Grade A Golden Color, Delicate Taste Maple Syrup
- Grade A Amber Color, Rich Taste Maple Syrup
- Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste Maple Syrup
- Grade A Very Dark Color, Strong Taste Maple Syrup
Maple syrup graded "Canada Processing Grade" must be maple syrup that
- (a) has a minimum soluble solids content of 66% and a maximum soluble solids content of 68.9% as determined by a refractometer or hydrometer at 20°C; and
- (b) does not meet the requirements of above (c) to (e).
The processing grade of maple syrup is suitable as an ingredient in food products, but may contain off odors or flavors and cannot be graded as grade A. It is not permitted for retail sale. While it doesn’t meet Grade A requirements.