What is Coconut Sugar?
Producing coconut sugar is a two-step process. It starts with harvesting or “tapping” the flower bud stem of a coconut tree. Farmers make a cut on the spadix and the sap starts to flow from the cut into bamboo containers. The sap collected is then transferred into large woks and placed over moderate heat to evaporate the moisture content of the sap. The sap is translucent and is about 80% water. At this point it is known as coconut neera or nira (Indonesia), and as coconut toddy (Sri Lanka), maprau (Thailand), or lagbi (North Africa). As the water evaporates, it starts to transform into a thick sap syrup. From this form, it may or may not be further reduced to crystal, block or soft paste form. The brown colour which develops as the sap is reduced is mostly due to caramelization.
Where does Coconut Sugar come from?
Our Organic Coconut Sugar is a product of Indonesia.
What does Coconut Sugar look like?
Coconut sugar comes in crystal or granule form, block or liquid. You can see what our Organic Coconut Sugar looks like in the image to the right.
How would you describe the flavour of Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is subtly sweet almost like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. The flavour and sweetness is usually similar to table sugar or brown sugar. However, since coconut sugar is not highly processed, the colour, sweetness and flavor can vary depending on the coconut species used, season when it was harvested, where it was harvested and/or the way the “sap” or “toddy” was reduced.
What are alternative names for Coconut Sugar?
The alternative names for Coconut Sugar are coco sugar, coconut palm sugar, coco sap sugar or coconut blossom sugar.
What is the suggested use of Coconut Sugar?
Coconut Sugar is mainly used as a sweetener. It’s a popular alternative to sugar as it’s believed it is slightly healthier. Coconut Sugar is also used in cosmetics such as scrubs.
In Indonesian cuisine coconut sugar is called gula jawa (Javanese sugar) or gula merah (red sugar), while gula aren refers to palm sugar specifically made from aren palm. Some Indonesian foodstuffs are made with coconut sugar, including kecap manis (a sweet soya sauce) and dendeng (a meat preparation).
Gula melaka is a Southeast Asian name for palm sugar or “malacca sugar”, probably named for its origin in the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It is usually derived from coconut palms, but sometimes from other palms. It is used in savoury dishes, but mainly in local desserts and cakes of the Southeast Asian region.
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