Trader Joe’s ORGANIC SUGAR


“Trader Joe’s Organic Cane Sugar contains only one ingredient: pure, natural, organic evaporated cane juice…”

…Grown in plantations in Paraguay, the sugar cane is cut by hand…. and delivered to a facility where the cane juice is extracted and evaporated into pure sugar crystals. The evaporation process produces perfect sugar crystals, rich in flavor and molasses.”

EXACTLY. Keep It Natural! The less you do (process) to food products, generally the better it is. For this sugar, the result is a high quality sugar with sugar crystals that have a distinct flavor and slight crunch to the tooth (crystals of this sugar are bigger than refined white “regular” Domino sugar). Its very similar to some sugar I usually look for in Hispanic grocery stores called AZUCAR MORENO (Blond Sugar) which is a “special” sugar that I find especially delicious in coffee. Its kind of hard for me to find Azucar Moreno consistently and this TJ product is almost an exact match for just a tiny bit more per bag, so its a good find for me.

What does this taste like? Very good. It has a very subtle taste of brown sugar but it’s lighter in flavor and color than say “light brown sugar” – which is actually regular refined “white sugar” that has had molasses added back to it. It is molasses, a by product of sugar refinery that has the taste we think of as “brown sugar”.

TJ’s ORGANIC SUGAR has more flavor than regular (white) sugar, but its not strong. It will add just a bit more flavor but not overpower the ingredient it is added to. I think this is especially excellent in coffee, and I also like it sprinkled on plain yogurt, or oatmeal. On yogurt, I like the way it crunches a little bit, not melt immediately into the liquid

A 2 lb. bag of ORGANIC SUGAR costs $3.49, ($1.75/lb) So compared to Domino sugar its not cheap (Domino or other regular sugar usually costs about 50-60 cents a pound). So I personally don’t use this to replace all regular sugar. I still use regular sugar in some things, but I use this stuff in my coffee for example, on my yogurt in the morning, my tea… whenever I want to really taste good sugar. So you can use this perhaps as an “affordable luxury” where a little bit kind of goes a long way.

PS – Trader Joe’s does sells molasses, the leftover product that is what is normally extracted in the sugar making process. It has a very strong flavor, and is frequently used in baking. A little molasses also goes a long way. It’s delicious, especially used in baking

UPDATE:When I bought this recently the back of the bag no longer says its “Grown on sugar farms in Paraguay”. It says something more generic. the bag had “PRODUCT OF ARGENTINA” electronically printed on it. This sugar compared to my last bag was noticeably a lighter shade in color than the previous bag I had. So it’s a bit different now.

 

 

 

 

 

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RECIPE FOR CRYSTALIZED GINGER


Dear Trader Joe’s

We are fed up waiting for you to get back the “Uncrystallized Candied Ginger” in stock.

So here’s a recipe* to make your own, people!  OK. It may not be quite as good as the TJ’s stuff, but it will be tasty and give you your needed ginger candy fix!

RECIPE FOR CRYSTALIZED GINGER

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh ginger root
  • non-stick spray
  • 5 cups water
  • Approximately 1 pound granulated sugar

Directions

  • Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a half sheet pan lined with parchment.
  • Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandoline.
  • Place into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.

Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger and measure out an equal amount of sugar. Return the ginger and 1/4 cup water to the pan and add the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and spread to separate the individual pieces. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Save the sugar that drops beneath the cooling rack and use to top ginger snaps, sprinkled over ice cream or to sweeten coffee.

PS The fresher the ginger (and younger) the better!

recipe: *courtesy of Alton Brown; Food Network