Inside Our Test Kitchen: Get smart about syrup

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Maple syrup (or lack thereof) can make or break a stack of pancakes, but not all syrups are the same. Letter grades ("A" or "B") on labels didn't make it clear what was inside the bottle, so to fix the sticky situation, the International Maple Syrup Institute suggested more specific categories. The new guidelines would reclassify pure maple syrup sold in the supermarket as Grade A and would include one of four descriptions: golden, amber, dark or very dark.

Golden syrup has a delicate flavor; try it for sweetening tea.

Try this:Sweet-Heat Iced Tea

Sweet Heat Iced Tea

Use maple-y amber for your short stack.

Try this: Blueberry Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas

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Dark (which would have been labeled Grade B in the past) and very dark are more robust and are great for baked beans or meat glazes.

Try this: Maple-Mustard Grilled Lamb

Maple-Mustard grilled lamb

No matter what kind you choose, your life is about to get a little sweeter.

-- By Gabriella Gershenson