Guide to Demerara and Brown Sugar Varieties

Last updated on January 27th, 2020

Discover why you should be adding demerara and other brown sugars to recipes.

If you work in the bakery business or run a coffee shop, there is a good chance that one of your star ingredients is demerara sugar. Not only is its distinctive toffee-caramel flavor ideal for baking cakes and pastries but it has become a favorite among coffee and tea lovers who prefer its taste over other hot beverage sweeteners. The larger and grainier texture of demerara sugar crystals have also made it a popular pick among bartenders who use it to adorn the rims of cocktail glasses and as an accompaniment to brown liquors such as dark rum, bourbon, and whiskey.

We discussed maple syrup, and birch and walnut syrups as natural sweeteners in previous blogs, also rising in the popularity charts are natural brown sugar varieties such as molasses, muscovado, and evaporated sugar cane. With white processed sugars continuing to fall out of favor with consumers, now is a great time to get the full scoop on demerara sugar and its counterparts and learn how you can add them to your foodservice menus.

What Is Demerara Sugar?

Demerara sugar is made by pressing sugar cane to extract sugarcane juice. The juice is then boiled until the water has evaporated, thickening first into a syrup and then cooling and hardening. Retaining about 1%-2% of the natural cane molasses, the sugar is light brown in color and boasts a uniquely large and crunchy crystal which lends itself well for many dessert recipes and toppings.

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How to Cater to Your (Sugar-Reducing) Baby Boomer Customers

Restaurants cater to Baby Boomers interested in lowering their sugar intake.

Attention all foodservice providers: Did you know that over 53% of baby boomers plan to significantly reduce their sugar intake this year and are committed to selecting products and menu items with no sugar added? Moreover, did you know that baby boomers have more purchasing power than any other age group in the U.S.? The demographic (aka “the 50-plus crowd”, born 1946-1964) also eats out more and travels more than any other generation.

This may surprise you, given that the millennial population has captured much of the limelight in recent food industry news. However, while the latter are considered the industry’s future big spenders, it is baby boomers who still constitute the largest group of buyers – and when it comes to food choices, health concerns are a major factor in their decisions. Specifically, according to C+R Research and nationwide surveys, baby boomers are most likely to “respond positively to health related products” and especially prefer foods that are free from sugar, fat, and sodium.

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Use the Latest Sweeteners to Appeal to the Health-Conscious Client

Using New-Age Sweeteners Can Attract Clientele to Your Business

The New Age of Sweeteners

It’s a well-known fact that refined white sugar is bad for us; too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and a host of other ailments. Nonetheless, when our sweet tooth screams for attention, nothing but a little sugar will do. In the past, a craving for sugar could be satisfied to a degree with honey, maple syrup, or the sweetness of dates; today, however, consumers are demanding more, and food manufacturers are continuing to explore the sweet possibilities of new-fangled sugar substitutes. As the reputation of plain, white, refined cane sugar continues to take a beating, you will find that many of your clients are asking difficult questions about how you plan to incorporate sweetness in your menu without an abundance of white sugar. Read on to learn more about new-wave sugars and how they can work for you.

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

Sugar cravings are hard to resist; when the urge comes upon us for something sweet, nothing else will do. The question, however, is why do so many of us have so little resistance to sugar.

Here are a few possible reasons.

When we don’t eat enough calories – if we’re dieting drastically or just not eating properly – our bodies start looking for fuel as a fast way to catch up, and the instinctive search tends to lead to sugar, one of the quickest energy sources around. Our bodies are so stubborn that even when we try to fool ourselves by ingesting artificial sugars, we go right back to looking for the real thing. Only substantial and real food – the actual providers of energy – can break the cycle, and a craving for sugar will often subside when we eat healthy calories.

Sugar intake can also simply be a bad habit; in other words, what seems like a craving may just be a reaction to a habit that’s both automatic and seemingly impossible to break. Break the sweet-treat habit and the craving may diminish as well. Sugar can also serve as an antidote to too much salty food. Unfortunately most processed and restaurant foods these days are heavily salted, and the saltier our food, the bigger our sweet craving. This is especially true when salt is added artificially to foods and not found naturally, like in olives or cheeses. The salt-sugar progression is a hard one to resist, which is why we tend to reach for a luscious dessert right after we finish a great, big portion of fries.

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