Today, February 8th, is Molasses Bar Day.
I am certain you must be wondering why I chose to write a blog on Molasses. Well, the last few days in particular I have been asked by various people from around the globe what exactly “Molasses” is? How is it made? How is it in comparison to castor sugar, brown sugar or even normal sugar? Will molasses be available for me to purchase back home (whichever part of the World they are from).
What better day, than Molasses Bar Day…. So I decided to try and list down some of the facts today. I hope this will be helpful and will bring some clarity to you.
The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word “melaco”, “meli” which is honey in Greek, “mel” in Latin, “melaza” in Spanish and “miel” in French. This sticky and sweet stuff has been used as far back as the 1500s as a sweetener for food. In the middle Eastern culture, molasses is produced from dates, grapes, carob, mulberries and pomegranates.
Molasses is a thick sugary syrup made from extraction of sugars from sugarcane. During the sugar making process, juice extracted from sugarcane is boiled down until the sugars crystallize and precipitate out. The left over syrup after crystallization is referred to as molasses. It typically undergoes three of the said cycles and with each successive cycle, the left over molasses contains less sugar. It contains large amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium and is used in cooking.
There are tons of varieties available and can be a bit of a challenge as to which one to use.
My trick to pick molasses with the least amount of sugar is based on its color. The molasses which is the darkest in color would be more viscous, contains least sugar and would have the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals. Sugarcane molasses is primarily used for sweetening and flavoring of foods in all the major countries and is agreeable in taste and aroma.
The best way to celebrate Molasses Bar Day is by making your own molasses bars and figuring out what all the fuss is about. Try adding some nuts, tangy ginger, cinnamon or any other spices. These bars are moist, chewy and seriously addictive!! I bet you wouldn’t want to go back to your plain old sugary cookie again.
Now that you know what Molasses is all about, quickly make your own bars and celebrate Molasses Bar Day.