There is a lot of interest in buying organic products. Consuming food products that have not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers is a desirable alternative. Another benefit of buying organic food is that it is frequently produced using more environmentally sustainable practices, including better treatment of workers. Bulk organic sugar and bulk organic confectioner & rsquo;s sugar are two products that are getting purchased more and more. Organic sugar is a type of sugar that has been grown under natural conditions and processed without using any chemicals or artificial preservatives.
History of sugar
Sugar is produced from sugar cane or sugar beets. Organic sugar is typically made from sugar cane. Sugar cane has been grown in India for centuries. Western Europeans got their first taste of sugar during the Crusades. It was called the & ldquo;new spice. & rdquo; Only the wealthy could afford it. Christopher Columbus reportedly took sugar cane plants with him when he sailed to the Caribbean. The tropical weather of the Caribbean is ideal for growing sugar cane. Many sugar cane plantations became established in the Caribbean and it developed into a hub of sugar cane production.
Sugar cane is a type of perennial grass. It can grow anywhere from 6 to 19 feet tall. Sugar cane is the planet & rsquo;s biggest crop and is grown in over 90 countries. It is principally grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Brazil produces more sugar cane than any other country. Other places where sugar cane is grown include Southeast Asia, Mexico, Caribbean, South America, Africa and Northern Australia.
Unlike sugar cane, sugar beets are better suited to more temperate, cooler climates. Canada, Western Europe and Russia are big producers of sugar beets.
The average sugar beet weighs between 1-2 pounds. Sugar became more widely available and affordable with the introduction of the sugar beet. By the 19th century, most of the sugar sold in Europe came from sugar beets and not sugar cane. Today, approximately 20% of sugar is made from sugar beets and 80% comes from sugar cane.
Qualities of organic sugar
Typically organic sugar is a golden or brownish color. However, it can be pure white. It is often hard to tell the difference between organic and non-organic sugar based on how it tastes or looks. Organic sugar has been subjected to less processing. It is a little more expensive than non-organic sugar because it takes more work to get it to the store. Not using any chemicals in the production and processing usually means more work for the farmers and manufactures. This is reflected in the price.
Following is an interesting video on organic sugar being produced in Paraguay. Organic sugar in Paraguay
Buying bulk sugar
Purchasing bulk sugar costs a lot less than per pound than buying a standard quantity. Businesses that consume a lot of sugar such as bakeries, restaurants and candy companies can realize a substantial cost savings by buying it in bulk. Another benefit of purchasing bulk sugar is the convenience of having large quantities of it readily available. For the businesses that use a lot of sugar, having it easily accessible is very convenient. There are a number of stores that sell bulk organic sugar. It can also be purchased online.
Confectioner's sugar is regular granulated sugar ground into a flour-like powder. It is also referred to as powdered sugar, and icing or frosting sugar. Bulk organic confectioner's sugar is also available. Confectioner's sugar comes in several different grades of fineness ranging from 4x to 12x. The higher the number, the more the sugar has been ground and the finer it is. The finer the sugar the more quickly it dissolves. Confectioner's sugar is susceptible to moisture and odor absorption. This can ruin it for use. As a result, it is important to store it in a clean, dry place. Storing it in a temperature controlled environment is ideal.
Uses of confectioner's sugar
Confection's sugar usually has cornstarch or calcium phosphate in it. These ingredients function as anti-caking agents and help to inhibit clumping during use. The added cornstarch can cause thickening, this should be taken into account when using confectioner's sugar in recipes. Another feature is that it can quickly dissolve. It is frequently used in icings, sauces, frostings and drinks. Sprinkling confectioner's sugar on top is a delightful way to decorate baked goods.
Sugar consumption is on the rise. The average American consumes 3 pounds of sugar per week and 3,550 pounds during their life. The majority of sugar that is consumed comes from people drinking regular soft drinks. Purchasing bulk organic sugar and bulk organic confectioner's sugar can help to support sugar production that is more natural and environmentally sustainable.
Maple Sugar: A Delicious And Versatile Sweetener
Maple sugar has becomes increasing popular over the years. It has a distinctly delicious flavor and is a very versatile product. Purchasing maple sugar in bulk can be a very cost effective decision for bakeries, restaurants, candy companies and other businesses that use large quantities of maple sugar.
History of maple sugar
Maple sugar has been used for a very long time. Native Americans favored maple sugar as it was prevalent, could be easily transported and lasted a long time. It was called ziinzibaakwad by the Native American Anishinaabe people. There are records indicating maple sugar was transported from the English settlement the Massachusetts Bay Colony to New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was located around present day Boston. New Amsterdam was the site of present day Manhattan.
Benefits of maple sugar:
- Unique flavor
Maple sugar is made from maple syrup. It has many of the same uses as standard cane sugar. However it tends to have a deeper, richer flavor. It is also approximately twice as sweet as regular granulated sugar.
- Versatility Maple sugar is very versatile. It is a great option for traditional bakery products, but there are many other ways it is used. Maple sugar can be used to add flavor to meat products such as ham and bacon. It is a great natural sweetener for cereal, granola and oatmeal. It can also be used to add flavor to condiments and sauces including salad dressings, mustards and grilling and BBQ sauces.
- It comes in different sized granules Maple sugar is available in different sized granules. This variation can be helpful, depending on how the product is used. Maple sugar can come in granules the size of standard table sugar. It also comes in granules that are the consistency of flour.
- Long shelf lifeMaple sugar contains less than 1% moisture. Due to the low moisture content, there is no opportunity for yeast or bacteria to grow. It can last for years. The long shelf life makes purchasing maple sugar in bulk an easier decision. It is helpful to know maple sugar can be stored for a long period of time and still maintain its flavor.
- All-natural product There are many different types of sweeteners available. Maple sugar is one sweetener that is 100% natural and made from maple syrup. It is easy to understand what is in maple sugar. It is not an artificial, synthetically processed product. Some of the FDA approved artificial sweeteners on the market less familiar in origin. They include acesulfame potassium, aspartame and saccharin.
Maple sugar is made from maple syrup. Maple syrup is made from the sap of the maple tree. Maple trees are very prevalent through New England. Their leaves produce some of the most spectacular fall foliage. Vermont produces the most maple syrup of any state.
Tapping maple trees
The best time of year to tap maple trees for maple sap depends on the weather. Typically mid-February to mid-March is when the sap starts to flow. Day time temperatures need to be above freezing (32 degrees Farenheit) and night time temperatures must below freezing. Higher temperatures during the day create pressure that initiates the flow of the sap. The sap runs for approximately four to eight weeks. Modern technology has helped to lengthen the sap production period. The money made from maple syrup used to be only supplemental income for farmers. New technology is making it possible for them to earn a living from their syrup.
Maple syrup is produced in a production facility called a & ldquo;sugarbush. & rdquo; After sap has been collected from a maple tree, it is boiled. This creates the purest syrup. To produce a gallon of maple syrup, it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap. If syrup is boiled too long, it can crystallize. When syrup is not boiled long enough, it can be watery and easily spoil. Maple syrup is typically put in containers when it is still hot. After it is sealed in its container, it is tipped upside down. The container top is sterilized by the hot maple syrup.
Maple syrup to maple sugar
Turning maple syrup into maple sugar is a very precise process. It requires practice, as it can easily burn. The syrup needs to be boiled until it reaches approximately 300 degrees F. Any foam that accumulates during the boiling process needs to be removed. After it has reached boiling it should be removed from the heat and continuously stirred until all the moisture is gone.