Earlier this year, Vermont adopted a new grading system for its maple syrup. This new system provides descriptions of each grade, or class, of syrup. It also part of a national and international effort to create a universal grading system throughout the United States and Canada. Currently, each state and the Canadian provinces each have their own demarkation for syrup.
The old method of grading maple syrup gave a range of five classes. These classes went from Vermont Grade A Fancy, Grade A Light Amber, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, to Grade B (and then there was a sixth grade that could only be sold commercially). One of the challenges with the old grading system was that it implied one end of the maple syrup spectrum was perhaps better (you always want to strive for an “A” right?). Therefore, many consumers would seek out Grade A Fancy, thinking that this syrup was top of the line.
However, all the grades taste good…it just depends on your taste preference as to whether you wanted a lighter maple syrup (Grade A Fancy) or a richer flavor (Grade B).
The new system cuts back to four grading categories, and the titles for these four classes are a bit more descriptive, thus helping the buyer choose the syrup that’s right for his or her taste palette.
For more information on the grading changes check out VPR’s website: http://digital.vpr.net/post/any-other-name-does-vermonts-maple-syrup-taste-sweet
Information above taken from the Vermont Sugar Maker’s Association and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Vermont Winter Vacation Guide 2015