The American Indians taught the Colonists how to tap the maple tree for its sap and boil it down to what the Indians called “Sweetwater.” Canada, New York and Vermont are all known for their superior maple products. Maple syrup is graded according to color and flavor. Generally, U.S. grades are: Fancy or Grade AA, a light amber colored syrup with a mild flavor; Grade A is medium amber and mellow flavored; Grade B is dark amber and hearty flavored; and Grade C is very dark with a robust, molasses like flavor. Since the processing of maple syrup is labor-intendisve, pure maple syrup is quite expensive. A less costly product is labeled maple-flavored syrup and is a combination of less expensive syrup, such as corn syrup, and a small amount of pure maple syrup. Pancake syrups are usually nothing more than corn syrup flavored with artificial maple extract. Go for broke and get the good stuff and refrigerate after opening.