What is black sugar?

Black sugar is a common ingredient in Asian cooking, but when I show black sugar to my Western guests. They very often ask “is that brown sugar?”

Black sugar is healthier and more tasty than white processed sugar; brown sugar has a few of the benefits of black sugar, but really isn't as good.

It can look quite similar to brown sugar, but black sugar is even darker - almost black. Black sugar is popular in Taiwan. Compared to processed sugar, which has a very flat, characterless taste, black sugar is 'round', with a lot more flavor.

Unlike processed sugar, black sugar contains molasses, plus potassium, iron, calcium and other minerals.

Many Western women like to eat chocolate for comfort during their period, but Japanese women like to eat black sugar. For Taiwanese women, eating black sugar during their period is also a very common custom, probably because Taiwan is a former colony of Japan. They really eat pieces of sugar like it's candy.

Actually, the minerals like iron and calcium do help ease the tension and discomfort of a woman's period. Of course the calories of the black sugar do produce a lot of energy for this difficult time too.

Compare it to a cup of hot chocolate on a winter's day. Ginger and black sugar tea is a popular drink in almost every part of China. Apart from warming up the body, ginger tea also helps to cure colds.

Similar to sea salt or rock salt, black sugar is also a relatively alkaline ingredient. Instead of using processed salt or sugar, it will give our health more nutritional benefits.

If I need to add any sugar to my coffee or tea, I would rather choose black sugar than processed sugar.

Where to buy black sugar?

You should be able to find black sugar in Asian (Chinese or Japanese) markets and supermarkets. The English product labels are often wrongly translated, but if you can see the Chinese / Kanji characters for black sugar, you should be getting the right thing - the image here shows these characters as they appear on a product. If the product has nutritional information, then high iron, calcium and mineral content is another sign of real black sugar. You can also buy black sugar online, for example at Amazon: here and here. These are sponsored links.

 

 


 

Comments

I'm very interested in this

I'm very interested in this black sugar, but have no idea what it looks like. Would you be able to post a picture of it up?
xx

I live in Japan. I use only

I live in Japan. I use only black sugar as sweetener. Send me your address and I will send you a pack of 350 gm. My email is harrison354@hotmail.com

Please say more about

Please say more about it:
Where is it produced? How is it produced? Where to buy? Price?

Okinawa in Japan is famous

Okinawa in Japan is famous for producing black sugar, and Taiwan and China are both producing their own black sugar too.
It's made from the whole sugar cane plant - a very traditional way of producing sugar.
It's available in most of the supermarkets in Taiwan, Japan, and China. In the West, it should be sold in Asian stores.
Black sugar usually costs more than twice the price of refined sugar.

I received an email from

I received an email from friend, says that using old ginger + black sugar boiling and drink it twice everyday, day and night, can easily reduce weight, is it true? But it doesn't mentioned how much ginger and how much black sugar to be using.... as i am very keen to drink this to have weight lost. Thanks.

 Black sugar and ginger

Black sugar and ginger tea

Ingredients
1 cup of chopped ginger (aged ginger)
5 cups water
5 tablespoons black sugar or enough to taste
 
Instructions
1. Smash the cup of ginger and boil it with water. When the water gets to the boil, let it simmer for about half an hour. Then flavor it with black sugar, and it is ready to serve.
 
When to drink
1. It's better to drink it after meals. As it helps you to digest very efficiently.
2. Drink it 5 days before your period, and during the period. It helps to ease discomfort.
3. Black sugar is sugar, it doesn't help you lose weight. But ginger helps.
 

What is "aged ginger"? I

What is "aged ginger"? I can't find any infomation on that.

Aged ginger is darker color,

Aged ginger is darker color, and the skin is very dry. It's about 3 to 6 months old.
Young ginger is pale, and not dry.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you need to know more.

Jodie

You can also buy this

You can also buy this prepackaged. The brand is called "Healthy Hot Ginger Tea with Black Sugar, " and you just add hot water. While I'm sure it can be found in Japanese/Asian Food Markets, I recently purchased from Japan through jlist.com (note: this site gives you a warning at the beginning, if you don't want to see naughty stuff then click on the "under 18" option which will direct you to jbox.com).

FYI: I found an Okinawa

FYI: I found an Okinawa Black Sugar Brick at Amazon.com.

it's also available in ranch

it's also available in ranch 99 these days. They come in small packets. The pieces in the packets are small nuggets of black sugar (so, don't look for a powdery type of substance.)

never thought there was

never thought there was something like black sugar.

Is the black sugar filling of

Is the black sugar filling of Chinese pastries (as in bun, pie crust) made of 'black sugar' that is being referred here?

Yes, that should normally be

Yes, that should normally be the same kind of black sugar

Thanks so much for the info!

Thanks so much for the info! I'm living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I stumbled upon black sugar for the first time over the weekend! I made pecan pies which came out KILLER. Definitely wont be the last and I'm THRILLED to see that it's beneficial to the body especially since I'm a bit of a white sugar hater.

www.NOLAchef.wordpress.com

I moved to Penghu in Taiwan

I moved to Penghu in Taiwan about 5 months ago and was offered a cup at Chinese New Year. I've been drinking it since. Mine is infused with all sorts of spices that I cannot identify but love. Makes my house smell like Christmas whenever I boil up a new batch.

That's interesting. Do you

That's interesting. Do you know what the tea is called?

Molasses and black sugar are

Molasses and black sugar are the same thing?

for weight loss, black sugar

for weight loss, black sugar enzyme tea is very good, its a mix of enzymes with green tea and black sugar,
i live in indonesia and have learnt how to make this tea and it works.... just email me ajhchina@gmail.com

Not just an Asian ingredient.

Not just an Asian ingredient. I just finished reading "The Lady in the Palazza: at Home in Umbria" by Marlena DiBlasi (also wrote A Thousand
Days In Venice and a Thousand Days in Tuscany). She is an excellent cook and writes about the food in Italy. Several times she
menitoned black sugar. I had not heard of it, so I came to the internet to find out. She also uses it to sweeten drinks and in
cooking.

Thanks for sharing the

Thanks for sharing the information.

In Argentina black sugar

In Argentina black sugar coated pastry has been common for many years, and it tastes great!!!! In the US black sugar has a weird name. Muscovado it's called. It is high in molasses, unrefined pure sugar( which is burnt sugar canes). It has vitamins and minerals.

I know black sugar, it taste

I know black sugar, it taste quite different from any raw sugar/ brown sugar like Demerara. So natural unrefined cane sugar are healthier choice... But is black sugar much better than these brown sugar?

It depends on your taste and

It depends on your taste and what you are making. In Japan, they even have black sugar soy sauce.

I think black sugar generally contains more minerals than brown sugar.

Are molasses and black sugar

Are molasses and black sugar same thing? After reading so much health benefits about molasses, I bought a bottle of organic molassess from whole food, it tastes like black sugar in Taiwan or Japan to me. I am original from Asia, lives in the us for the past 30 years.
I can find lots material about how molasses are made on web, but could't find any about how black sugar are made, can anybody comment on that?

Hi. I read from an apple cake

Hi.
I read from an apple cake recipe that white sugar can be replaced with brown sugar.
But I am wondering if now I can use black sugar instead of brown sugar for baking this apple cake?

Sure, you can use black sugar

Sure, you can use black sugar instead of brown sugar.

Thanks for a short and sweet

Thanks for a short and sweet explanation! I am writing and illustrating a book now about Ishigaki Island Japan's Satou-kibi sugarcane fields. I want to include some facts about white vs black sugar, along with some facts about diabetes and other sugar-related diseases present in countries, japan vs taiwan vs america, for example..
Anyway, thanks a bunch, and if you have any more info you think might be useful in my research, please send me an email! jmuzacz@gmail.com

I am wondering whether black

I am wondering whether black sugar the same as blackstrap molasses? It is just that black sugar is in crystal form while the molasses is in liquid form. Is this right?

Thank you for the question.

Thank you for the question. Actually, in my experience, the blackstrap molasses tastes sweet but bitter. Black sugar is sweet but not bitter. So, I think black sugar is not the same as blackstrap molasses.

As far as I know, blackstrap molasses is the by-product of producing sugar from sugar cane, but black sugar is not a by-product in the same way, so maybe that explains the difference.

1) does black sugar come in

1) does black sugar come in other form other than brick? I find it hard to break up.
2) I was told it's also produced in Taiwan. Anyone know where or what city?
3) Labeling issue - i see that in chinese it says 'black sugar' while the english label still says BRown Sugar.
I guess if it's not the blackest one, it is not black sugar...

Thanks for your very

Thanks for your very interesting questions

1. Sometimes the black sugar is in powder form, but brick style is also very common. 
2. There are many areas in Taiwan that produce black sugar. 
3. If the label says in Chinese "黑糖" ("black sugar"), then it should be correct. 
4. The colour of black sugar should be very dark. 

If you are in Hawaii, you can

If you are in Hawaii, you can visit the Annual Okinawan Festival held Labor Day weekend. We have about 8 different flavors of kokuto in the Heiwa Dori tent. Most are the brick form, but there is one item that is a fine granular powder.

Why don't our Australian

Why don't our Australian sugar mills produce black sugar?

Origato! I couldn't find

Origato! I couldn't find anything about black sugar anywhere; I thought the animation company who'd invented 'Yumeiro Patissiere' had made it up!

Where can I get black sugar

Where can I get black sugar in the Uk please ?

This is great!!! My mom uses

This is great!!! My mom uses black sugar because she's diabetic and all those packet sugars are loaded with bad stuff like Equal, etc.. I have a question?

Can you bake with black sugar instead of using white? Can I just stop using white all together for baking??

Thank you!!!!

Sure, you can use black sugar

Sure, you can use black sugar in stead of white sugar.  But the color might make the baked food very dark.

My grandma used to make black

My grandma used to make black sugar mixed with warm water (drink) for me when I had tummy problems such as gastric or indigestion. It always helped. :)
Until now I still rely on the same formula of one cube of sugar per cup.

P.S. So glad to have found this blog post!

In Bangladesh extract of

In Bangladesh extract of sugar is called 'Gur'. It is from sugarcane. It is also very useful with hot water and ginger. Black sugar from Japan tastes like 'Gur'.

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