Saturday, January 21, 2012

Palm sugar and Coconut palm sugar

Palm Sugar

This sugar is commonly known as Gula Merah/Gula Jawa or Gula Melaka in Malaysia. It is made from the sap of the date palm - Palymyra Palm or the sugar date palm - Phoenix Sylvestris.

The sap/honey is harvested by making several slits into the bud of the palm tree. Upon collection of the sap/honey, it is boiled to thicken the sugars and then traditionally poured into bamboo tubes that have 3 to 5 inch diameter. The sugar is left to solidify forming cylindrical blocks.

It is used in South East Asian cuisine and in their traditional herbal medicine.
It is known to liquefy phlegm in the lungs and soothes a sore. Due to the growing pandemic of diabetes, this sugar fulfills the requirements for a healthy sugar substitute because it has an extremely low glycemic index and high nutrition content.It can be used as a substitute for any sugar or sweetener.Use it is cakes, to sweeten coffee, cookies or salad dressings.

Coconut Palm Sugar

This sugar is harvested from the watery sap that drips from the flower buds of the coconut palm or the sap of the sago, Arenga pinata palms.This is not the same as palm sugar - Gula Jawa/Gula Melaka.This sugar is also known as Arenga sugar. 

This sugar is  high in nutrients and has an extremely low glycemic index.The sap honey is harvested every morning. It is then boiled down in woks to resemble sticky sugar.The substance is then whipped and poured out into lumps on cellophane or filled into containers.This is not a highly processed sugar therefore the flavor, consistency, color and level of sweetness will vary from each harvested batch. The flavor of this sugar has a more rounded caramel and butter scotch notes. It must not have a metallic flavor like brown sugar. It has a rich flavor. All palm sugars melt at a low temperature and an extremely high burn temperature. Usually comes in blocks or liquids.

This sugar can be used as a substitute for any recipes that calls for sugar.It has a rich caramel taste, and a slight smoky coconut aroma to it.It offers a far richer taste and flavor than any other sweetener. It is after all the nectar of the coconut palm flowers.Use it as a coffee or tea sweetener or in pies, cakes and cake icings/frosting. Follow the link below for more information and recipes.

Coconut palm sugar and palm sugar are not the same products.  Coconut palm sugar comes from the coconut palm tree – Cocos Nucifera and palm sugar comes from the Palmyra palm tree – Borassus Flabellifer. The sugar is extracted from the sweet watery sap/honey that drips from the flower buds, by making several slits cut into the bud. A pot is then tied underneath the bud to collect the honey sap.

These sugars have been used from ancient time in the Asia;

   Burma: jaggery, htanyet

   Cambodia: skor tnot

   Telugu: nalla bellam, thaati bellam (Palm Jaggery)

  Kerala: panam kaLkaNdu(White crystal), Karippatti, KarippOtti (Dark palm sugar)

   Bangladesh/Bengal: jaggery (cane or palm sugar), gur (date palm sugar);

   Tamil Nadu: panam kaRkaNdu, karuppatti

   Indonesia: gula jawa, gula aren, gula merah, gula semut

   Philippines: Pakaskas

   Malaysia: gula melaka, gula anau

   Sri Lanka: jaggery, kitul-hakuru, tal-hakuru, pol pani

   Laos: num taan

   Thailand: nam taan pep, nam taan bik, nam taan mapraow

   Vietnam: đường thốt nốt

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