Real Maple Syrup is a natural sugary syrup produced exclusively from the sap of maple trees. It contains between 66 and 68.9% sugars and other minerals.
Today's real maple syrup is graded into four distinct categories, separated only by the concentration of maple flavor and the amount of light that can pass through a sample. The darker the syrup the stronger the maple flavor. Syrup produced early in the season tends to be lighter than syrup produced later in the season.
The categories are all grade A (there used to be a grade B) and are as follows:
Real maple syrup in this class has a light to more pronounced golden color and a delicate or mild taste. It is the product of choice for consumers preferring a lighter colored maple syrup with a delicate or mild taste.
Real maple syrup in this class has a light amber color and a rich or full-bodied taste. It is the product of choice for consumers preferring a full-bodied tasting syrup of medium taste intensity.
Real maple syrup in this class has a dark color and a more robust or stronger taste than syrup in lighter color classes. It is the product of choice for consumers preferring a dark colored syrup with substantial or robust taste.
Real maple syrup in this class has a very strong taste. It is generally recommended for cooking purposes but some consumers may prefer it for table use.
There is also a category called processing grade and that is used as a flavoring agent in commercial applications.
If you want to learn more about real maple syrup, follow these links: