littleFred wrote:Burnaby, please check me on this, but I've been told the (US? Canadian?) Grade B syrup (generally more flavorful than Grade A) has become Grade A dark, with the previous Grade A becoming Grade A amber.
Could be. For some strange reason the more insipid and bland maple syrup is the more expensive it is. The dark is much more flavourful than the light and is also cheaper so that's what I buy. Light amber is at the top of the price list. It's possible, for PR purposes, that the dark has been reclassified from grade B to an alternate Grade A to get rid of the poorer quality connotations. However it's not a matter of quality, both are chemically equivalent, but of perception.
As in my earlier post, the lighter and lighter-flavored stuff was called "fancy" because it could be used in things, such as tea or coffee, where you don't necessarily want a stronger maple taste. It comes from the first run of the season. As the season progresses, the syrup becomes darker and has a stronger flavor. Burnaby is correct in that the reclassifications were done partly because "Grade B" syrup was perceived as being of lesser quality. I like to buy the new Very Dark/Strong Grade A because, among other things, I can transport it more easily when I go camping, since I need less of it.
"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture." -- Pastor Ray Mummert, Dover, PA, during an attempt to introduce creationism -- er, "intelligent design", into the Dover Public Schools