Further Question…

Sally C. goes on to ask…

Next question (and you’ve probably already answered it before… but I’m old and I forget) is cane syrup Karo Light Syrup? My dad and his family always had a jug of sorghum or black strap molasses on the table to use as sweetener. And he always used Karo Syrup on his pancakes. Come to think of it, all the old ones did.

Next question: Barbados molasses. Is that where turpedo (or however you spell that stuff) comes from. It’s an unrefined sugar (I think).

Next question: Do you ever get tired of answering questions?

First answer: No. Karo Light Syrup is corn syrup, which is made via a completely different process than cane syrup. In the case of corn syrup, enzymes are added to a slurry of pulverized corn kernels (minus the husk and germ of course), which snip the long-chain sugars (carbohydrates) down into their component simple sugars (a process known as hydrolysis) and voilà: corn syrup. When it’s first made, corn syrup is always “light”, which is to say it’s clear (not light in calories). “Dark” corn syrup is made by adding a little refiner’s syrup to the mix, plus a little caramel color, which makes it more flavorful and a better substitute for recipes that would otherwise call for molasses. Lots of folks, especially in corn growing areas (where Sally is from: Iowa), have historically used corn syrup on pancakes as a sweetner because it was inexpensive and available (not necessarily because it tasted all that great). Having caught onto this, Karo now makes a corn syrup that’s maple-flavored.

Next answer: Turbinado (though it would be much more fun if it was called “torpedo”) sugar, is a type of “raw” sugar. Which is to say it’s a member of a family of brownish, large-crystal sugars that don’t go through the final processing steps (after all the various types of molasses — including Barbados — have been removed). People make the claim that this somehow makes the sugar healthier. Bunk. It just has a bit more plant residue and other burnt gunk left in it, which to me is a pretty funny definition of “healthy”. It can however taste a little different. In the same way crystal size and shape (i.e. surface area) impacts the way various designer salts interact with our taste buds, the size and shape of sugar crystals make a difference in how we perceive their sweetness. Once that sugar goes down the ol’ pipe though, it’s all the same.

Next answer: No. Keep’em coming!

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