What is sorghum molasses? ...and how is it different from sorghum syrup?
The term sorghum molasses (as applied to processed cane juice) is a misnomer, since molasses is a by-product of sugar manufacturing. However, when most people think of the molasses produced in the deep South it is that produced by slow simmering the juices of sugar cane or sorghum cane. Simmered and skimmed up to a point, it's sorghum syrup. Sorghum molasses is this same sorghum syrup further cooked down to a thick consistency, giving a rich robust flavor and color.
Most sorghum crops produced in the US are grain sorghums. There are varieties that are known for the quality of juice in the stalks. Such a variety is shown in the picture to the right. This particular crop is destined for a cane mill where the stalks will be crushed thus allowing the sugar rich juices to flow into waiting buckets and then transferred to cooking pans for eventual transformation into sorghum molasses.
In the old South the typical cooking pan for sorghum molasses was about three feet wide and up to twelve feet long. It was made of metal and had a series of baffles so that in the transit from one end to the other, the raw juice would graduate from one compartment to the next in its gradual transformation to the finished product. Workers would use paddles to move the juice along from one section to the next. "Skimming" was also part of the operation (see left picture).
This long pan was typically mounted on a rock base with a fire underneath. Wood was thrown in from holes on the side, and a chimney on one end kept air flowing across the fire. Long ago this entire process was a community event and it normally was the job of two of the 10-12 year old boys to keep the fire "stoked". It was quite an honor to be given this job.
The event of making sorghum syrup and sorghum molasses would typically see the ladies of the community as skimmers while their men brought the cane in from the fields and ran it throught the rollers of the cane mill. However, only the "syrup master" could pronounce the end compartment ready to be "poured up" into metal gallon cans. It was his practiced eye and keen sense of taste that told him when it was time.
Besides tasting great and its widespread use as a sweetener in baking, sorghum molasses is well known as a source of potassium. Please note that sorghum molasses (as known in the Old South) is just sorghum syrup cooked to a thicker, richer consistency. Therefore, it is sometimes called sorghum syrup.
Fain's sorghum molasses is still produced in the same old time-honored way: slow simmered in an open pan. Sorghum molasses is heavy and ordinarily expensive to ship. Looking for a bargain? Notice the free shipping below on a 2nd and 3rd jar of the larger quart size.
|Free shipping (priority mail only) on every 2nd & 3rd quart jar.
Shipping is a flat $13.35 whether shipping 1, 2, or 3 jars.
||We ship only to USA (including Hawaii, Alaska, & APO addresses).
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Ingredients: Large quart jar contains both cane and sorghum molasses (often called Sorghum Syrup since it is syrup further cooked).
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||Fain's Sorghum Molasses , 12 oz size ... one of your choices when you custom assemble a gift pack: 3-item gift pack
5-item gift pack
- slow simmered
- open pan cooked
- all natural
- no additives