[Sca-cooks] treacle RE: German Breads

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Mar 31 08:29:01 PDT 2008

> I was going to question Bear on his mention of 16th century as far as
> export/use of molasses went. I'd have said 17th century. But...
> <<< Let me say that this is my analysis and interpetation of the
> situation and
> that I have no direct evidence of the use or non-use of molasses in the
> German States during the 15th and 16th Centuries. >>>
> I think both of us are working more on gut-feel on this than having
> specific facts to work from. If someone does have more specific
> information on the time of commercialization of molasses/treacle, I'd
> love to see it. It might be instructive to see at what dates the
> triangle of trade developed with molasses/treacle to the American
> colonies, where it got turned into rum, and much of that got shipped
> to Africa to buy slaves to be transported and sold in the West
> Indies, linked with the price (falling) of sugar.
> Stefan

Columbus carried molasses with him on the first voyage, so we know that 
molasses was being used at the end of the 15th Century, but there is not 
much readily available information about the molasses trade at that time. 
He also brought sugar cane to Dominica, beginning the Caribbean sugar 

During the 16th Century, most of the sugar trade was with the Mediterranean. 
While we know quite a bit about the trade in sugar, there is still little 
information on molasses in this period.  By the end of the century, the 
English and the Dutch were cut off from the spice markets in Portugal and 
opened their own trade routes for spice.  By 1597, there were three sugar 
refineries in Amsterdam, about 25 years later there were 90, which means a 
lot of molasses was being produced there.  I think it may have been traded 
into France and Germany.

Around 1625, the English established a colony on Barbados and joined the 
Caribbean sugar rush which in turn sparked the "Golden Age" of slavery and 
the triangle trade.  It also provided some really good records on sugar, 
molasses and rum.

Hopefully, that will help clarify the time line I'm working with.


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