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Maple syrup is only produced in eastern North America.
Each tree produces an average of one quart of maple syrup each year.
It takes 40 quarts of maple sap to produce 1 quart of pure maple syrup.
The harvest is about six weeks long in March and April every year.
Unopened containers will keep for a minimum of three years, while unopened plastic containers will keep for two years. Store maple syrup in a dark, cool place. Once maple syrup is opened it must be kept in the refrigerator and will keep up to one year.
Highland Sugarworks and our organic maple syrups are all certified by Ecocert Canada – both the farm and bottling plant are inspected annually and must meet strict guidelines for organic certification (no pesticides, organic farming practices, use only regulated cleaners, labelling approved by Ecocert Canada, all syrup batches coded for organic audit control, etc.)
Color and clarity depend upon the weather, the cleanliness of the tools, the regularity of gathering, and the manner of boiling and straining. As for the flavor, it depends on imponderable qualities: the tree itself, the location, the soil, etc.
These factors are important in determining the commercial value of maple syrup but are not essential to the identity of maple syrup as such. Maple sap, and nothing else, is the essential ingredient.
Golden Color, Delicate Taste – Produced at the very beginning of the season
Color: 75 – 100%
Taste and Flavor: Subtle
Flavor intensity is low, subtle. Typical aromas are floral, light confectionery, vanilla and fruit-like.
Adds a delicate sweetness and subtle maple taste to dishes and meals. Maple syrup flavor is very light and will blend with other aromatic compounds. Use in delicately flavored dishes and desserts.
Suggested Usage: Use as a topping on fruits like strawberries, bananas and mangoes or to sweeten light vinaigrettes and white sauces.
Amber Color, Rich Taste – Produced in the middle of the season
Color: 50 – 74.9%
Taste and Flavor: Balanced
A perfect balance between flavor intensity and taste. Typical aromas are mild, light caramel and maple, with hints of vanilla.
This is the best-selling grade in the US.
Suggested Usage: Use as a topping on crêpes, waffles and pancakes. Sweeten plain yogurt and granola. Use in sauce or as a glaze. If you buy only one grade, choose this one because it’s the most versatile.
Dark Color, Robust Taste – Produced near the end of the season
Color: 25 – 49.9%
Taste and Flavor: For maple lovers
Pronounced maple flavor with hints of caramel, toffee and dark coffee aromas. Sometimes has a slight smoky finish but not as much as the very dark grade.
Maple syrup farmer’s favorite grade.
Suggested Usage: Use as a table syrup or for baking. It gives more flavor and has a longer finish than Amber. Excellent on oatmeal, chicken sauté, and as a sweetener in coffee and tea. Stronger flavor of this grade will remain after baking.
Very Dark Color, Strong Taste – Produced at the very end of the season
Color: 0 – 24.9%
Taste and Flavor: For cooking
Made using maple syrup from the end of the season, this grade has the strongest flavor profile. Typical flavors: black coffee, chocolate, toast, nuts, molasses. May have a slightly bitter finish.
Use when you need a strong maple flavor to compete against others flavors. Will add dark coloration to meals. Normally used as an ingredient and not served as a table syrup.
Suggested Usage: Use as a glaze on pork and beef, in dark sauces, or meals involving smoke or grill (like BBQ). Great for baking.
Pure maple syrup does not contain any additives or preservatives.