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Sunday, November 2, 2008

sorghum vs. molasses

Saturday we were talking with some friends of ours about molasses, and Richard brought up sorghum. I wondered if maybe molasses came from sugarcane, and sorghum from beets, but as it turns out, molasses comes from both sugarcane and sugar beets, and sorghum is a variety of grass (of the genus Sorghum) from which one can extract a sweet syrup, as with cane (to which it is related) and beets. So there you go, Richard. The Wik to the rescue once again.

Also, has anyone else heard that you will get different (read: inferior) results when you use beet sugar instead of cane? I had heard that somewhere, and the interwebs seem to back up that assertion. I have bought almost exclusively cane sugar, so I haven't had the opportunity to do any testing of my own.

Also, does anyone else feel annoyed with honey producers claiming their product is organic and pesticide-free? Because don't bees kind of get to choose for themselves from which flowers to sup? I guess if you put the hives in the middle of your organic field that is at least 12 miles across you can reasonably say it's not sweatshop honey or whatever, but how many honey producers do that? I claim OBFUSCATION!

7 comments:

richvm said...

thanks very much I feel more better edumacated. So you know the 2nd batch turned out much better and looked like a loaf not the sloaf you encountered.

Layne said...

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful breadchild! You must be very proud.

tipsybaker said...

1. Yesterday I made a recipe for cookies that called for sorghum and then, in parentheses, said that molasses was okay. I used molasses but wondered about it. The cookies were mediocre, though I don't blame the sweetener.

2. cane v. beet. My mother told me always to buy C&H sugar bc it is the only pure cane sugar. And so I have even though I have never checked if that's true. Or if it matters. A project for today?

highdeekay said...

As the product of two sugar beet farmers I protest!

Layne said...

Our county used to raise sugar beets--there's actually an old sugar factory the next exit south of us. Now it's a graffiti factory. Keep in mind that graffiti around here means "Welcome home, Kevin!"

Whoa! I just found out that the molasses from sugar beets is "not fit for human consumption," so they refine beets all the way, then add the molasses back in, as opposed to the way cane is processed.

I sort of want to do a bake-off.

tipsybaker said...

But how can you tell what is in your sugar box? I have two boxes of brown sugar in my cupboard, one is Safeway brand, one is C&H. Safeway just says "brown sugar" and C&H says "pure cane sugar, no beet sugar."
I'm guessing Safeway brand is beet sugar. Maybe I'll see if there's something on the web.

Layne said...

Safeway is cane sugar because they buy it from C&H--here's a link to a great article I read about sugar-on-sugar action.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/03/31/FD91867.DTL