What is palm sugar?

CaressLepore
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4 Comments

paseo September 14, 2012
Grate the sugar on a sharp microplane - then weigh or compress to measure
 
gely September 14, 2012
its a sap extracted from the Palmyra palm the date palm and the sugar date palm its also named as argenga sugar it is extracted in its sap form and then boiled until it thicken and left to become a solid block
 
smd1227 May 16, 2012
From wise-GEEK.com: Palm sugar is a sugar which is extracted from the sap of palm trees. Numerous varieties of palm tree are tapped for their sugar, although palm sugar from date palms and palmyra palms tends to be the most prized. It can also be extracted from sago and coconut palms. This sugar is widely used throughout Southeast Asia, and it has a number of regional names, including jaggery and gur.

To extract the sap, climbers ascend the palm tree and slash the flower buds, placing buckets under the buds to collect the sap which wells out. Then, the sap can be boiled down to concentrate it and evaporate the moisture. Depending on how heavily the palm sugar is processed, it may be sold in the form of a paste, or it may be dried out and molded into blocks or cones to make it easier to handle.

Palm sugar varies in color from a light golden color to a rich dark brown. It tends to be extremely grainy, with dried forms being highly crumbly, and it is typically minimally processed. Many people like to use palm sugar in cooking because it is so coarse and unprocessed, and many Southeast Asian recipes call specifically for palm sugar. The light processing leaves much of the flavor of the sugar intact, creating an almost molasses-like flavor.
 

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Reiney May 16, 2012
It resembles the taste of brown sugar (which is a decent substitute if you can't find palm, as is jaggery) and is made from the sap of a palm tree. Very commonly used in SE Asian dishes, it's usually sold in rock-hard cakes or blocks - so portioning/measuring can be a bit of a hassle if the instructions are "2 Tablespoons".

I usually end up fighting with it as I try to shave off pieces with my chef's knife, thinking "there must be an easier way to do this."
 
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