By Florence-Léa Siry from Chic Frigo Sans Fric
Do you wonder what the different colour variations of maple syrup mean? Light, amber or dark, the colours vary over the course of the sugaring off season and the amounts of minerals contained in the sap. The first boils of the first run of sap make pale syrups with a light taste, while the last run is very dark, full of minerals and has a richer flavour.
To check whether the syrup is from the most recent harvest, you can find the production date on your can. The first four figures are the most important. The first three represent the day of the year and the fourth digit represents the last number of the current decade. Thus, for syrup that was produced on the 69th day of 2017, the production code would be 0697X, with X representing which batch of the day.
Light syrups are often less expensive than dark syrups. They are used to make maple taffy, while the darker, more flavourful syrups are prioritized for cooking. Amber syrup is delicious as a topping.
Keeps up to three months in the refrigerator
Can be frozen to prolong its shelf life
Once a can is opened, it’s best to pour its contents into a bottle or an airtight container to prevent the sweet liquid from oxidizing in reaction with the metal can. Keep it in a cool place because, once in contact with the ambient air, there is a high risk of mould growth. It’s therefore best to keep it in the fridge, which will also slow down evaporation. As soon as the can is opened, the liquid starts to evaporate and the sugar starts to crystallize. To prolong its shelf life, store your syrup in a plastic container in the freezer. As it is 66 degrees Brix (sugar content in a liquid), it will remain in a liquid state.
A well sealed can of maple syrup stored in a cool dry place will keep for over three years.
You can substitute 1 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of maple syrup by reducing the other liquid ingredients in the recipe by about ¼ cup (60 mL), to avoid adding too much moisture to the texture.
Maple syrup is great in desserts that contain yeast, in marinades, or to drizzle over a dish.
Zero Waste Tip
What can you do when your syrup crystallizes? Just add about 1 part water to 3 parts syrup and reduce it over very low heat in a double boiler or in the oven.