goodbye ‘grade b maple syrup’, hello ‘grade a – dark robust taste’?

goodbye 'grade b maple syrup', hello 'grade a - dark robust taste'?

we consume a lot of maple syrup, much of it added to lightly sweetened plain yogurt and, of course, occasionally on top of french toast or pancakes. i can’t remember exactly when, but at some point years ago i remember learning that grade B was better. huh? how could grade b be better than grade A? and cost less?! well, it was true, the cheapest maple syrup tastes best and once you get used to the dark, flavorful grade B you can’t go back to the bland grade A. but it obviously has had a branding problem, since in almost every other instance you can think of, grades with lower letters in the alphabet mean the product is inferior.

vermonters are moving towards a uniform grading system where everything is grade A with flavor descriptors – e.g. grade B will become ‘grade A dark, robust taste’. no doubt some folks think the new grades “lose vermont touch and some see a conspiracy:

“In Wisconsin, where the grading proposal is under discussion, syrup-maker Katrina Becker of Stoney Acres Farm said some producers fear their industry could become Big Maple. One standard is the first step to price controls, more regulation and speculative maple-syrup trading, she predicted.”

maybe this is the first stage of a maple syrup revolution that could change the business forever finally realizing thomas jefferson’s dream of maple syrup besting sugarcane in the battle for america’s sweet tooth.

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