[Sca-cooks] sugar

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Jul 15 15:45:01 PDT 2007

On Jul 15, 2007, at 5:57 PM, Daniel Myers wrote:

> On Jul 14, 2007, at 7:50 PM, Suey wrote:
>> 	By the way I have been using only brown sugar of late when I cook
>> as I only prepare 13-15th century dishes. I find it much richer.
> The problem with this is that brown sugar is a modern invention, in
> which a little molasses is added to refined white sugar to give it
> added color, flavor, and moisture.
> All of the evidence I've seen indicates that by the time sugar was
> being used in cooking instead of honey (in northern Europe), that
> they were already able to refine it as white as it can be made now,
> and could powder it just as finely as we can now.

Well, we know they made sugar-plate, which calls for sugar pounded  
quite fine.

I'm not sure about the whiteness thing, except to point out that  
"white" can be a relative concept, and the finer you pound even some  
very dark sugars, the lighter in shade it can appear. In addition, we  
know sugar came in various grades (we know that, at the very least,  
from recipes which either specify a grade -- or a point of origin,  
which generally means approximately the same thing -- or contain  
instructions on how to further refine the sugar for further use),  
which suggests that even the wealthy were not using absolutely white  
sugar all the time.

However, I agree it was certainly available for small-scale use,  
perhaps for medicinal use, at the very least.

I think perhaps there's confusion between sugar-that-was-sometimes- 
brown, and what modern Americans call brown sugar, which is a  
different animal.


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