Dulce de Panela - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 10-25-2006, 06:47 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
Also labeled "unrefined brown sugar." And "100% natural."



It was wrapped in sugar cane leaves (they look like corn leaves). And imported from Salvador. In my local Spanish supermarket.



OK, I scraped a bit off. Very strong molasses flavor. A big hard lump. It does appear to taste like grandma's molasses, only without the water. I assume it really is raw sugar. Probably with just a few insects encapsulated in it. Very nice taste. Very natural-looking - uneven coloring.



But it is rock hard. I am wondering how I am going to use it, without putting the whole 22 oz in a pot of warm water and letting it dissolve overnight, or hot water and letting it dissolve in 20 minutes or so. Hard to cut with a cheese grater. Doesn't have the sort of sour flavor that molasses has.
soilman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 10-25-2006, 07:02 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
There is some info about it here, with nice photos.



http://cosmo-vision.blogspot.com/



What the picture doesn't show is that they pack TWO of those cone-shaped blocks in one of those corn-husk packages. Big end to big end. They were kind of glued together but it was possible to get them apart.



Really delicious. I like the flavor better than that of molasses.
soilman is offline  
#3 Old 10-26-2006, 09:48 AM
 
Snow White's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 333
Looks a bit like jaggery
Snow White is offline  
#4 Old 10-26-2006, 10:43 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
Interesting Snow White. I looks ezzactly like jaggery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaggery. Looks like the Salvadoran counterpart of Indian jaggery.



I need to find out what dulce de panela translates to, exactly. Any Spanish-speakers here? I am pretty sure dulce must mean sweet, as La Dolce Vita gets translated from Italian to English as the Sweet Life. but panela. Pan, pot?
soilman is offline  
#5 Old 10-26-2006, 10:44 AM
 
4EverGrounded's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,644
It looks like you've got Piloncillo.



Have you tried letting it sit in a bag with a piece of toast? Or putting it in a screw-top jar with a very damp towel (either paper or cloth) laid on the mouth of the jar and the jar topper screwed on? Either one of those methods might work.
4EverGrounded is offline  
#6 Old 10-26-2006, 10:50 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
I've found that a small, sharp (carbon steel) hollow ground knife works. The web site you linked to, 4EverGrounded, suggested a serrated knife -- that works too, a small one.
soilman is offline  
#7 Old 10-26-2006, 10:53 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
I couldn't find wheat cereal that wasn't burnt in my local supermarket, so I bought some Wheatena. My morning Wheatena tasted better with this unrefined cane sweetener, than the maple syrup I used to use. Really good. Still, I wish my store stocked more unburnt whole wheat cereal.



I have 2-quart widemouth screw top jars -- and the cones won't fit thru the tops!
soilman is offline  
#8 Old 10-26-2006, 10:56 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
That web site is selling it for 3 times as much as I paid for it!!!!
soilman is offline  
#9 Old 10-26-2006, 11:12 AM
Banned
 
nigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by soilman View Post


I need to find out what dulce de panela translates to, exactly. Any Spanish-speakers here? I am pretty sure dulce must mean sweet, as La Dolce Vita gets translated from Italian to English as the Sweet Life. but panela. Pan, pot?



Awkward literal translation. "Dulce" can meen "sweet" in noun form, like a candy is a sweet. "Panela" means, roughly, "shaped into a loaf" or I guess just plain "molded."
nigel is offline  
#10 Old 10-26-2006, 11:27 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
Thanks nigel. Gracias.
soilman is offline  
#11 Old 10-26-2006, 05:05 PM
 
froggythefrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 9,260
I couldn't tell you how to use it, but I've seen this before. Perhaps use a hammer?
froggythefrog is offline  
#12 Old 10-26-2006, 05:24 PM
 
Tofu-N-Sprouts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11,049
I've purchased SMALL cones of sugar like this - I did end up breaking it up with a hammer and then running it thru my food processor to "granulate" it... I LOVE the taste (and I HATE molasses, so I wasn't thinking it tasted much like molasses, but to each their own).



Try it sprinkled on a half of a baked acorn squash with a little Earth Balance. YUM!!
Tofu-N-Sprouts is offline  
#13 Old 10-26-2006, 05:52 PM
Banned
 
nigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,524
It has a hint of nuttiness, doesn't it?
nigel is offline  
#14 Old 10-26-2006, 06:26 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
Yea, that should do it; put it in a paper bag, and take a whack at it with a hammer.



I'm confused as to why it taste different, and better, than molasses, even tho it tastes almost just like molasses, as light molasses is supposed to be the same thing, only not boiled down quite as far. Maybe it is the process of clarifying the liquid molasses, removing the tiny particles of crushed cane fiber, that alters the flavor? Although I thought that could be accomplished simply by allowing the fibers to fall to the bottom over the course of a couple days.



Tastes more like chewing on a cane stalk than molasses does. I think it some kind of sourness that gets into molasses, that isn't present in raw cane, and isn't present in these blocks of unrefined sugar.



It was better on my cold cereal (Uncle Sam Cereal) than maple syrup. And a lot less costly, too.
soilman is offline  
#15 Old 10-26-2006, 06:31 PM
Banned
 
nigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,524
When you make maple syrup, if you heat it too much it it will crystalize and make maple suger. I wonder if the same thing is going on here, and the panela is cooked hotter or longer than molasses.
nigel is offline  
#16 Old 10-27-2006, 11:28 AM
 
K.Von's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
You might try breaking off a small piece and grinding it in a spice grinder or a coffee grinder. Works well for nutmegs which are probably harder.
K.Von is offline  
#17 Old 10-27-2006, 12:23 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 10,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel View Post

When you make maple syrup, if you heat it too much it it will crystalize and make maple suger. I wonder if the same thing is going on here, and the panela is cooked hotter or longer than molasses.



It is pretty obvious that it is basicly the same thing as molasses, only cooked longer, to dehydrate it further. The web site I linked to above shows some info and photos about how it is made. I don't think it is heated hotter, just heated longer. It is done in an open kettle, which means the temperature won't go much beyond the boiling point of water. While I believe some molasses is made in long tubing things, instead of open kettle, I think they do not put it under pressure, and thus increase its temp above the boiling point of water because it negatively affects the flavor -- unless they are going to totally refine it to white sugar -- which is 99.9 percent pure sucrose, and what was in it before refining makes little difference to the final outcome.
soilman is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off