MASCOBADO SUGAR (NEGROS OCCIDENTAL)
Here's something to make your cookies and loaves of banana bread exponentially yummier! Mascobado sugar is warm and rich like molasses, but without the bitterness. It brings out the best in coffee and cacao. Mixed with butter and slathered on pancakes, it turns your Monday into a Sunday.
Mascobado sugar is made purely from boiled sugarcane juice. It contains phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iron, as well as a range of vitamins. Present in many forms across Asia and all sugar-producing nations, this was the original brown sugar (the "brown" sugar you get now is mostly white sugar with colorant).
In Chinese medicine, it is considered restorative and medicinal, made into a sweet tea and given to women after childbirth. Its minerals (especially iron and calcium) supposedly help new mothers regain their strength and vitality. It is also used as a substitute for excessively salty condiments such as soy sauce. (A pinch of mascobado instead of MSG in all Philippine kitchens? One can dream.)
This sugar is from the province of Kabankalam, where a cooperative-run mill processes small producers' cane. The labor-intensive process has not changed much over centuries–the juice is boiled down in large vats and stirred constantly over many hours. Having a little bit of it everyday is an amazing way to access our landscape and history.
Available in kilo and 100g brown paper bags.