Bring back the cane
Thursday 27 November 1997
Now there are over a dozen different types of sugar to choose from and any self-respecting foodie needs a whole shelf-full if they are going to have the right sugar for every recipe.
It all began when Billington's, who have imported sugars for more than 130 years, started producing unrefined sugar, or what is strictly known as raw cane sugar, on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
Nobody is claiming that sugar is the healthiest foodstuff, but unrefined sugar, unlike white sugar (or brown sugar, which is often simply coloured white sugar), does contain varying amounts of minerals and nutrients. Mostly, though, producers claim it just tastes nicer and more and more people seem to be agreeing with them.
A growing number of supermarkets have introduced their own brand unrefined sugars and some restaurant chefs are getting pretty sweet on it too. Phil Howard, of the modern French restaurant The Square, started using unrefined sugars in his kitchens three months ago - and now he is hooked. "Normal sugars are amazing sweeteners but unrefined sugars also have an amazing flavour," he says. "They add another dimension to a dish."
Having said that, he doesn't recommend that people use them for everything: "Sometimes you want a strong flavour and sometimes you don't. When you are making a lemon tart, for example, you just want a straight sweetener to counteract the acidity, so then I use a bog standard fully refined white sugar."
know your sugars
MUSCOVADO is the one that all the TV chefs seem to be getting their mouths around - it just sounds good.
LIGHT MUSCOVADO is recommended for butterscotch sauces, ice-cream, mulled wine and also tomato sauces.
DARK MUSCOVADO has a toffee flavour and adds depth to marinades, sweet and sour sauces and chocolate-based recipes.
MOLASSES SUGAR is the darkest and strongest of all. It is recommended for Christmas cakes and puddings and chutney. In some recipes it can be rather overpowering.
SEVEN THiNGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT SUGAR
l In 1099 the Crusaders in Syria were the first people from Britain to taste sugar.
l A spoonful of sugar in the bottom of the vase will make fresh cut flowers last longer.
l A couple of cubes of sugar in the tin will keep biscuits fresh and crisp.
l In the Sixties sugar was used to create bouffant hairstyles.
l Add some granulated sugar to mint when you chop it for mint sauce: it makes it easier to cut up.
l A teaspoon of sugar after a vindaloo will apparently take the heat out of your mouth, but it may not do much for your teeth.
l Sprinkle a spoonful over the surface of hot custards or sweet sauces and it prevents a skin forming.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Survivor William Pooley is flown to US to give doctor with virus emergency blood transfusion
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
Tezenis removes 'crime scene' pants from Oxford Street store after backlash over 'rape' connotations
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
iOS 8: 6 reasons you might want to hold off updating
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...