From the Latin mellaceum, "cooked wine"
Origin: West Indies
Belongs to the family of sugar derivatives
Did you know that it's molasses that distinguishes English rum from French rum? Rum from the British West Indies is made solely from sugar cane juice - more precisely, from molasses, the thick residue left over from the sugar extraction process, unlike rum made in the neighboring French islands. The process consists of diluting molasses with spring water and fermenting it before distillation.
Molasses is a very viscous non-crystallizing syrup containing 40-50% sugar. It's the residue of the last step of crystallization. Its odor is strrong when it comes from beets and is reminiscent of rum when it comes from sugar cane. Only black molasses is sold commercially.
Substitute: dark brown sugar dissolved in a few drops of water to form a thick syrup, although it will never have the same rustic, slightly burnt, flavor as molasses. Almost black in color, molasses has the property of coloring whatever it is added to.
It is used in
- pastry, baked goods and candy making
- sweet-sour dishes
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