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What is the difference between Canadian and American maple syrup?

The Daily Meal logo The Daily Meal 12/27/2018 Daisy Nichols
a vase with flowers in front of a window: What Is the Difference Between Canadian and American Maple Syrup? © istockphoto.com What Is the Difference Between Canadian and American Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is a wonderful golden elixir that is delicious poured over pancakes, French toast and waffles. It is enjoyable in countless ways, whether it is in its most recognizable form as syrup or in the form of maple candy and maple butter.

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Maple syrup comes from one of two places — Canada (where most of the maple syrup comes from Quebec) or the United States (where Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup). But what, if anything, is the difference between the two?

Ultimately there is no significant difference between Canadian and American maple syrup; both counties produce the highest quality, which is why the real stuff comes with a premium price tag, the main difference is in the packaging and, more specifically, the grading system used to categorize maple syrup. Within the grading system in America, there is a further divide, as Vermont uses yet another system to differentiate between different maple syrup variations.

In Canada the grading system goes from Canada No. 1 extra light, light and medium to Canada No. 2 medium and amber to Canada No. 3 dark. In the United States, the comparable grades go from U.S. Grade A light amber, medium amber and dark amber to U.S. grade B and finally U.S. grade C, which is the most bitter and is generally not available to purchase.

The grades are based on the color of the syrup, which is an indication of when in the sugaring season it was produced — lighter syrup tends to get made earlier in the season, and darker syrup is usually made later in the season. Darker syrup has a deeper and stronger flavor while the lighter stuff is generally more preferred and considered the perfect accompaniment to pancakes, waffles or any of these 24 French toast recipes that are worth waking up for in the morning.

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