USDA Grade A maple syrup is the most popular grade for everyday use as a topping on pancakes, deserts, and other foods. It is usually made throughout most of the short syrup production season. Grade B syrup is generally made towards the end of the season, as the weather warms towards spring and the trees end their winter dormancy. USDA Grade B syrup is much darker and has a stronger flavor, which makes it more suitable for flavoring and cooking purposes. It is thought that this late season syrup contains more minerals. Grade C syrup is no longer an official USDA syrup grade. For those of you looking for Grade C maple syrup, it is now called Grade B. In other words, Grade B & C are the same.