Palm sugar: properties, use and where to buy it

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Louise Hay
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Lo palm sugar it is a food that sweetens, natural and dark in color and particularly viscous consistency, similar to honey, which then crystallizes and is sold in round blocks or characteristic cylinders to grate or melt.


Let's find out more.

 

Where palm sugar is obtained

It is extracted every two or three years from the flowers of the sugar palm, botanically known by the name of Arenga saccharifera or Arenga Pinnata, a plant of the Arecaceae family, which is why it is also called the sugar of the flowers; these palm trees up to 20 meters high are originating from the Asian continent, especially from the Malaysia, where it is known as Palm sugar, but plantations are also found in the Philippines, eastern India and Indonesia.


The processing of palm sugar, from don't get confused with coconut sugar either coconut palm sugar, is made by hand, in a completely unique way, that is by tying the flower buds, which are then lightly beaten by hand with a stick and finally cut at the apex to drain the sweetish juice or sap.

This liquid is then deposited in large pots and heated, thus evaporating the water and leaving a dense viscous light brown molasses, molasses which is then crystallized and sold in characteristic blocks.


 

Taste and use of palm sugar

Il characteristic flavor, reminiscent of licorice, makes it particularly intense and recognizable. This product also has good properties, such as being rich in minerals and trace elements, it has a low glycemic index and 100 grams of product provide about 380kcal.


It is used as a natural soluble sweetener in both hot liquids and cold drinks and is a well-known ingredient of Thai cuisines and Indian: it is used in many sweet recipes but not only, such as pad thai, various typical sauces orpapaya salad. In particular, palm sugar is an iIngredient of Thai red curry.


 

Where to buy flower sugar

Palm sugar can be found quite easily on line, even if its marketing in the country is still little known, or in ethnic shops and oriental products, especially Indians, where it is known by the Indian name of jaggery o gur.


The cost can be defined as average: a 450 gram bag of loaves costs about 3 euros, much more expensive than the dreaded refined white sugar.

 

Find out more about the properties and uses of natural sweeteners


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