Who doesn’t love to drizzle a bit of maple syrup on a perfect pancake or waffle? Maple syrup, for the uninitiated, is derived from the sap of maple tree. Only selected varieties of maple can be ‘tapped’ to get the sap, which is first boiled to remove water and then filtered to get rid of impurities. Grocery stores can be misleading at times, and you may find products like pancake syrup, which is not same as maple syrup. Brands like Délices Erable & cie corporatif sell organic maple syrup and related products, which are expensive but worth the price paid. In this post, we are discussing all you need to know for buying the good sweet stuff!

Understand the grading

In the US, you will find maple syrup graded as A or B. Grade B syrup is darker in color and has a stronger flavor, and it is derived from the later part of the harvest season. Maple syrup is harvested between February and April, and March is when the best syrup is made. Grade A maple syrup is as good, and you will find a wide range of colors. If the syrup is light amber in color, it would have a delicate taste, while dark to medium amber will have a richer taste.

Which maple syrup to buy?

To be honest, the grade or color of maple syrup is a matter of personal choice. Dark-colored maple syrup is always stronger and has the more maple flavor, but some people do prefer the lighter variants. In general, amber maple syrup is best used as a drizzle, topping or dressing, because it is sweetest of all. If maple flavor is what you seek, go for the dark-flavored ones.

Buying maple syrup

Keep in mind that maple syrup can go bad, unlike honey, and should be best consumed within six months to a year, depending on the production label. Make sure that the product is organic and comes from a farm that you can rely on. Organic maple syrup is also high on nutrients. Also, make sure that the bottle is stored in a refrigerator once opened.

Now that you know how to buy maple syrup, go ahead and find a brand that’s worth paying the price for. Not to forget, do check the label and make sure that the product contains nothing but pure maple syrup. Beware of anything that contains corn syrup!