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Sweet Deals
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Sugar has had a bum rap ever since it was made an accomplice to a host of diseases (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure etc.). The fact , however, everything taken in excess will surely compromise one’s health. Certainly, sugar’s effects to the human body --- whether white, brown or muscovado --- is up for review. Here are a few facts --- some non-culinary at all --- that could sweeten the deal.

  • A spoonful of sugar added to a vase of flowers can prolong the life of freshly-cut blooms. Must be the sweet stuff? You bet.

  • Sugar is multi-faceted. A single sugar crystal when viewed under the microscope will reveal 14 facets, thus enabling it to glitter at times like a diamond.

  • A pinch of sugar on the tongue is a tradition remedy for hiccups. Try it!

  • Ladies in the 19th and early 20th century use sugar to starch their petticoats.

  • Your mouth hot after eating curry or other spicy foods? Eat a spoonful of sugar and swill it around and the “spicy hotness” will disappear.

  • Sugar is great for the DPWH’s road repair program as it helps asphalt to harden.

  • What would antibiotics be like without sugar? Well, they wouldn’t exist. Chemical manufacturers use sugar to grow penicillin.

  • If sugar is good for public works and the pharmaceuticals industries, it’s equally good for the leather and printing industries as well. Sugar is used in leather tanning and is an ingredient in printer’s inks and dyes.

Combined with water, sugar becomes syrup. Here are a few sweet factoids about it.

Simple syrup.
Simple syrup is just sugar and water, cooked together until slightly thickened. It is used to glaze certain types of sweet breads and is even used to sweeten fruit.

Syrup and crystallization.
Crystals forming in a syrup is the bane of all cooks. This means that the sugar wasn’t completely dissolved before the mixture came to a boil. How to correct this? Simply remove the crystals very carefully. Otherwise, put a little corn syrup to help prevent crystallizing. Nonetheless, some cooks swear to a drop or two of lemon juice.

“Spin a thread.”
No, this is not a term used by Spiderman, this actually refers to syrup cooked to a point wherein when the syrup is dripped from the tip of a spoon, the syrup will create long gossamer threads similar to the threads of a cobweb.

Sugar comes in all forms and types. Here are several:

Castor sugar.
This is equivalent to fine granulated sugar similar to superfine sugar.

Powdered sugar.
This sugar is also known as confectioner’s sugar. In England, however it is also called icing sugar.

Superfine sugar.
This is an extremely fine, granulated sugar that dissolves almost instantly. It is used by some cooks for making sponge cakes and can also be used for sweetening whipped cream.

Muscovado sugar.
Some health food advocates swear to the properties of this sugar which is simply a kind of brown , unrefined sugar. In some provinces in the Visayas (Bohol and Cebu), this sugar is sold like refined sugar with superfine granules and sugar lumps included in the bargain.

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September 22, 2017

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