[Sca-cooks] Sponge sugar

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Wed Aug 1 15:55:40 PDT 2007

>Does anyone know about this one? Teresa de Castro talks about "azucar
>rosado" (pink sugar) or "panal de azucar" which I translate as sponge
>sugar. It is caramelized sugar to which something is added to fluff it
>up which today is lemon juice. My translation does not check out. I play
>around with the Mexicans panella and other deviations of panel, loaf or
>cone sugars but nothing comes out pink or fluffy in English.  Castro's
>sugar citations are for Spain between 756 and 1480 more or less. I think
>her 'pink sugar' could be 15th Century.

I found some early but non-period references to the term.  They would indicate something more like meringue than toffee.  The word "panal" seems to refer to honeycomb.

p. 75 Chueca's 1897 Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente: "azucarillos" translated as "meringues": in Chueca's day "azucarillo" was a honeycomb-like "meringue" made from sugar syrup, egg whites and lemon juice, it could be eaten as a "golosina" (meringue) but more commonly the "aguadora" (water seller) would place a chunk of azucarillo to soak in her earthen-ware water jug to "endulzarla" (sweeten it, the water) and to "templar su crudeza" (to make it more palatable), not dissimilar to the "panal de azúcar"or the "esponjado" served with cold water;

http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0201A&L=ads-l&P=6557 STANDARD GUIDE TO HAVANA. 1906
Pg. 82:  Among the popular drinks is one called panal (honeycomb) or aucarillo, which is made from a mixture of sugar and white of egg, dried in rolls about six inches long, which look like spongy white candy; the rolls are served with a glass of water and with or without a lemon; when panal is dissolved it produces a sweetish drink like the eau sucre of the French. 

Offering the Panal to the Bullfighter, in which a bullfighter is given panal--Spanish for honeycomb or sponge sugar, dipped in water to provide energy and quench thirst. 1873

Two Foundations, 1565-1835
They turned sugar into candy and syrup for drinks (e.g., azucar rosado , a beverage made with caramelized sugar and citrus juice) and packaged it for the slowly growing export trade in native products.

En Espana siempre lo he oido decir "helado". Aqui van otros terminos
"helado" = azucar rosado (en Andalucia)
"paleta" Mexico, Nicaragua
"palito" Argentina
(this seems to make a modern definition azucar rosada be sorbet or popsicle!!  Maybe making it from the sirup.  I don't speak Spanish and could be totally misreading this.)

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list