Grading maple syrup has been around for decades, and the grading systems of the U.S. and Canada have always been different. The two grading methods have long confused consumers and maple syrup enthusiasts, and the new maple grading system created by the International Maple Syrup Institute is about to clear everything up. The universal set of new maple syrup grades—will be fully implemented over the next couple of years.
As of now, the U.S. grading system classifies maple syrup into two grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is further broken down into three different sub-grades: Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. The Canadian system is based on a number scale. Canada #1 includes Extra Light (also known as AA), Light (A), and Medium (B). Canada #2 is Amber, also known as C, and finally, #3 is known as Dark, or D. Because the three #1 grades of Canada’s system are essentially the same as the three U.S. sub-grades of Grade A maple syrup, it makes sense to have one universal system instead. The new system will have only one grade for retail sale: Grade A. The other grade will be called Processing Grade maple syrup, but this grade will only be commercially available. Grade A maple syrup will be divided into four classes: Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Very Dark.
No matter what your preferences are when it comes to maple syrup, you will definitely be able to find a variety you love once the change hits store shelves everywhere.