All About Maple
Does all maple syrup taste the same?
Nope! Maple syrup is made from condensing 35-100 gallons of pure maple tree sap down to one gallon of syrup. . As sap is collected from trees, either in buckets or tubing, it picks up microbes including bacteria and yeast. These microbes play a large role in the flavor and color of syrup. They break up the sucrose molecule (the primary sugar in maple syrup) and create fructose and glucose (aka invert sugars). As the season progresses, there tend to be more microbes, and therefore more invert sugars in the sap. These sugars play a critical role as the sap is cooked and concentrated down from about 2% sugar down to exactly 67% sugar. The microbes are killed, but the invert sugars they leave behind play a critical role. Sucrose alone is not as reactive as fructose and glucose. The more invert sugars, the darker and more flavorful the syrup tends to be after the cooking process.
The syrup is graded based on the color it has at the end of the boiling process. Typically darker syrup carries more “maple” flavor.
Over the last several years, Moose Mountain Maple has been producing primarily Grade A Golden with Delicate Taste (Fancy) and Grade A Amber Color with Rich Taste. Fancy syrup is often used to make candy, cream and other maple products that are eaten without competing flavors. Medium syrup is the most popular choice for pancakes and waffles. We do make some dark syrup with a delicious flavor towards the end of the season. For the old-timers who really like the black syrup, if we make any we send it to a processor to be used as commercial grade syrup in things like cereals and smoked meats.