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11 varieties of sugar in the world

Ana Madigibuli
Friday, October 13, 2017

HOW much do you know about sugar? Not the amount of sugar intake you consume in a day, but the varieties of sugar you buy from the supermarkets.

Most people in Fiji are accustomed to the usual brown and white sugar that we consume here, but have you ever taken a second to figure out why each sugar has different colours and texture.

Today we look at the different types of sugar that are produced and why it comes in different colours and sizes.

Next time you're on your grocery shopping trip make sure you know what you're paying for at the counter.

Website lists the 11 varieties of sugar found in the world today that you might find interesting to know more about.

1. Granulated sugar

Granulated sugar is a highly refined, multi-purpose sugar. It's also sometimes called refined, table, or white sugar. When people talk about "sugar," this is usually what they're talking about.

Granulated sugar is made from sugar cane and sugar beets. It's also the most common type of sugar used in baking and cooking.

Caster sugar

Caster sugar is superfine granulated white sugar. Because the crystals are so fine, they dissolve much quicker than standard granulated white sugar, which makes it ideal for making meringues, syrups, and cocktails.

Confectioners' sugar

Also referred to as powdered sugar and 10x sugar, this is a type of white sugar that has been ground into a fine powder. To prevent clumping, a small amount of corn-starch is typically blended in. Confectioners' sugar easily dissolves in liquid, and is ideal for making icing and frosting, as well as decorating baked goods.

Pearl sugar

Sometimes called nib sugar or hail sugar, pearl sugar is a variety of white sugar that has a coarse, hard texture and an opaque colour. It also holds its shape, and doesn't melt when exposed to high temperatures.

Pearl sugar is commonly used in Scandinavian baking to decorate pastries, cookies, and buns.

Sanding sugar

Sanding sugar is used mainly for decorating. It has large crystals, which are fairly resistant to heat and add extra texture and crunch to cookies and other baked goods. You can find sanding sugar in a rainbow of colours.

Cane sugar

Unlike granulated sugar, which comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, cane sugar is produced solely from sugar cane and is minimally processed. It also has a slightly larger grain, darker colour, and higher price tag. Use cane sugar the same way you would granulated sugar.

Demerara sugar

Demerara sugar is a variety of raw cane sugar that is minimally refined. It has large grains with an amber colour and a natural, subtle molasses flavour. Use it to sweeten coffee or tea, or as a topping on baked goods, like muffins, scones, cookies, and cakes.

Turbinado sugar

Turbinado is another type of minimally refined raw cane sugar. This sugar variety has large, medium-brown crystals, and is often mistaken for standard brown sugar because of its colour, although it's not the same thing. Turbinado sugar has a delicate caramel flavour and is commonly used to sweeten beverages and can also be used in baking.

Muscovado sugar

Also referred to as Barbados sugar, muscovado sugar is a variety of unrefined cane sugar in which the molasses isn't removed. It comes in dark and light varieties, and has a sticky, wet, sandy texture with a rich, complex flavour. While muscovado sugar can be used as a substitute for brown sugar, its flavour is much stronger. It's especially wonderful in barbecue sauce, marinades, and savoury dishes.

Light brown sugar

Light brown sugar is refined white sugar with a small amount of molasses added in. It has a wet, sandy texture - although less sticky than muscovado sugar — and a delicate caramel flavour. Use it for making any baked goods, as well as in savoury dishes.

Dark brown sugar

Like its lighter counterpart, dark brown sugar is refined white sugar with molasses added in. It contains more molasses than light brown sugar, which gives it a stronger, more intense flavour. Light and dark brown sugar can be used interchangeably.

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