Answer:The best grade of syrup to buy is the one that you like the best! Each grade of Vermont maple syrup has the same density and clarity but the color and flavor varies. Grade A: Golden Color is the lightest grade in color and has the most delicate flavor while Grade A: Amber is a little darker in color and has a more pronounced maple flavor. If you want to cook or bake with syrup, it is better to buy the darker grades so that the flavor of the syrup isn’t over-powered by the other ingredients in your recipe.
Q. How many gallons of sap does it take to make a gallon of syrup?
Answer:It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. A single tree gives between 10 and 14 gallons of sap over 6 weeks.
Q. What is the best way to store maple syrup?
Answer:Maple syrup should be stored in a cool place until opened. Once opened it must be refrigerated. For long term storage pure maple syrup retains its flavor best when kept in the freezer. Maple syrup will not freeze solid and can be poured into smaller containers for use. If you purchased syrup in tin containers, it is recommended, after opening, that you pour it into clean, odor-free plastic or glass jars (like canning jars) and then put those into the refrigerator or freezer.
Q. What is the best way to store maple cream?
Answer:Maple Cream is made from pure maple syrup which is cooked and stirred to a cream consistency. Maple cream should be refrigerated when not in use. If you plan to keep Maple Cream for any period of time before using, put it into the freezer to keep the consistency and flavor at its best.
If Maple Cream separates, simply stir the syrup back into the cream with a sturdy knife or spoon. If the container of Maple Cream has been opened for some time and has hardened, it can be restored by placing the container in very warm water, being careful the keep the water level below the top of the container, and stirring the cream, once it is warm, until it softens.
Q. Does tapping and taking sap from a tree damage it?
Answer:Tapping and collecting sap do not harm the tree, if the guidelines spelled out in the North American Maple Producer’s Manual 2nd edition are followed. The North American Maple Project has monitored hundreds of maples in Vermont for 20 years, and has found no significant difference between the health of maples tapped yearly for syrup making and maples that have never been tapped.
Q. Is anything added or put into Vermont maple syrup?
Answer:Vermont maple syrup consists of maple sap, from which water has been boiled off to achieve a density of 66.9% sugar. Vermont maple law reads: “Maple syrup shall not be processed in any manner which adds or removes naturally occurring soluble materials.”