Although there are a host of sweet syrups produced in the U.S. and other countries, molasses that finds its way to the table is derived made from the sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum. Curiously, sugarcane is considered a true grass!
The juice of the sugarcane is extracted from the pulp in various ways. It is concentrated by boiling. Cooling yields an abundance of sugar crystals, sucrose. The remaining fluid is popularly called cane syrup. It is still quite sweet and was once popular in cooking.
Another boiling and cooking yields additional sugar crystals. The remaining liquid is molasses. Upon removal and yet another boiling, a thick, dark, slow-pouring, not-so-sweet syrup results, called (you guessed it) blackstrap molasses.
Nutrition in Blackstrap Molasses
As is true of many other food items used in industrialized lands, the main product, in this case, table sugar, has been stripped of its nutrient value. The least “healthy” component is what is popularly consumed in largest measure. Society has a “sweet tooth”.
Blackstrap molasses contains most of the nutritional value found in the sugarcane plant. Blackstrap is quite rich in potassium, minerals, and Vitamin B6. It is not without merit in the taste department. It has, many will agree, a delicious flavor.
Molasses Containing Foods
Perhaps, however, you are among those who say they don’t like molasses. Probably few do want to pour molasses over their pancakes at breakfast time. Nevertheless, molasses is found in many foods that people love, even if they don’t know those foods contain the dark syrup.
Some popular (or once popular) molasses-rich foodstuffs include: molasses cookies, baked beans, Boston brown bread, licorice, gingerbread cookies, barbecue sauce, shoofly pie, Indian pudding, rum, porters and stouts.
Sugarcane – Grass Roots
The following 5 minute making molasses video will undoubtedly absorb your complete attention.
Just a Thought
In the United States and doubtless in many other lands, it is ever more common to decrease the variety of foods we eat. Many have never tasted lamb, liver, or artichokes — beets, black eye peas, or apricots. Eating in moderation is good. So is eating a variety of foods.
Note: You might also enjoy Vanilla and Vanillin: What’s the Difference?
- Archway: Molasses (cookies)
- Panda: All natural soft licorice 32 g (ingredients)
- Whole Foods Market: Baking with Molasses