Maple Syrup: Are you eating the real deal?
Pancake, or table syrup, is a highly processed product. The primary ingredient is corn syrup and/or high-fructose corn syrup. Some experts suggest that high-fructose corn syrup may be processed by the body differently than other types of sugar, while others say that there is little difference.
You'll also find added coloring, flavoring, and preservatives in pancake syrup. The coloring is often caramel color. Some types of caramel color contain a compound called 4-MEI, a potential carcinogen.
If you are going to use maple syrup you want to make sure it is organic and if you can, getting it from a local source is even better!
Many farmers markets carry maple syrup.
Here are some guidelines on how to chose maple syrup:
Grade A Light Amber is very light and has a mild, more delicate maple flavor. It is usually made earlier in the season when the weather is colder. This is the best grade for making maple candy and maple cream.
Grade A Medium Amber is a bit darker, and has a bit more maple flavor. It is the most popular grade of table syrup, and is usually made after the sugaring season begins to warm, about mid-season.
Grade A Dark Amber is darker yet, with a stronger maple flavor. It is usually made later in the season as the days get longer and warmer.
Grade B, sometimes called cooking syrup, is made late in the season, and is very dark, with a very strong maple flavor, as well as some caramel flavor. Although many people use this for table syrup because of its strong flavor, it's often used for cooking, baking, and flavoring in special foods.
What you put in your body matters, so be sure it is of good quality!