Found an excellent YouTube video about making syrup, spurred by the question of “why can’t you get Grade B syrup any more?” – much more biology, chemistry and technical detail (using reverse osmosis means 11-1 rather than 48-1 ratio of sap-to-syrup) than the usual tourist explainer. It includes two things I didn’t now: explanation of why maple trees are about the only tree that exudes sap when you poke a hole in them, and the fact that boiling off the water from sap doesn’t just concentrate it, it makes some chemical changes like Maillard reactions.
Check it out here.
tl;dr – you can get “Grade B” syrup – it’s just called “Grade A – dark robust” after a 2015 renaming by the USDA.
David, thank you for sending along the video about the maple syrup. I never knew much about the process but have enjoyed maple syrup on many of my plates. I am a first-generation American of Canadian immigrants. We would have 8-10 gallons of maple syrup in our house when I was a child in Lincoln, NH. I have always preferred the Grade A light but then that is what we grew with in our house. In addition to syrup on crepes, we would eat it with bread, on our beans etc. We even would dip a fresh snowball into syrup that had been boiled to thicken it and peel the layer of syrup off the snowball. Delicious.