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Brown Sugar – What is brown sugar? What are the different varieties of brown sugar?

What is brown sugar?

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Brown sugar consists of sugar crystals coated in a molasses syrup with natural flavor and color. Many sugar refiners produce brown sugar by boiling a special molasses syrup until brown sugar crystals form. A centrifuge spins the crystals dry.Some of the syrup remains giving the sugar its brown color and molasses flavor. Other manufacturers produce brown sugar by blending a special molasses syrup with white sugar crystals.

Brown Sugar varieties



Turbinado sugar

This sugar is raw sugar which has been only partially processed, removing the surface molasses. It is a blond color with a mild brown sugar flavor and is often used in tea.

Brown sugar (light and dark)

Brown sugar retains some of the molasses syrup,which imparts a pleasant flavor. Brown sugar tends to clump because it contains more moisture than white sugar. Dark brown sugar has more color and a stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Lighter types are generally used in baking and making butterscotch, condiments and glazes. Dark brown sugar has a rich flavor that is good for gingerbread, mincemeat, baked beans,and other full flavored foods.

Muscovado or Barbados sugar

Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar.

Free-flowing brown sugars

These sugars are specialty products produced by a cocrystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than “regular” brown sugar. Since it is less moist, it does not clump and is free-flowing like white sugar.

Demerara sugar

Popular in England, Demerara sugar is a light brown sugar with large golden crystals, which are slightly sticky. It is often used in tea, coffee, or on top of hot cereals.


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