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Rhum Agricole

Fresh sugar cane juice rhum from the French islands.


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Old 01-22-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
Tiare
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Default Ti punch with palmsugar

Has anyone tried a ti punch with palm sugar instead of cane sugar? A working friend of mine told me today about his trip to La Rйunion and the ti punch that was served with white pieces of fresh palm sugar..muddled with the lime.
I have never seen any palm sugar that is white..only brown so i wonder what kind of palm sugar that can be. He said it was extremely tasty..
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:47 AM   #2
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I'm not 100% positive on this but I believe it is sold here in BC as 'coconut sugar' and it is white. Generally one can only find it in higher end food stores.

I would have never thought it suitable to make ti-punch with.

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:13 AM   #3
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According to my working friend they stripped the bark from a palm that was not the coconut palm..and it was white chunks of what they called palm sugar. I have used brown palm sugar in my cooking and its very rich deep flavoured and with that i can imagine a ti punch, ..got to try that.
But this white stuff..donґt know exactly what its supposed to be.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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Tiare,

I'm not sure but I believe the palm sugar I use is brown because the substance under the bark has been treated with heat.

However, my sugar is described as "coconut palm sugar" which I believe they might be using this terminology to establish that these were trees that produce coconuts - but not that the sugar comes from the actual coconut fruit. I may be wrong but these are some of the conclusions / assumptions I've come up with.

The container box for the palm sugar I have describes a process of treating the bark with heat to extract the sugar (and then the rest is marketing garb about the rich euphoric final product as a result of the unique process).

Might the contents be white prior to heat being applied or extracted without the use of heat?
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:03 PM   #5
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Honestly..i have no clue what sort of white chunky palm sugar he was talking about..i think i have to ask again tomorrow.

Palm sugar ( the brown, that we know of) was originally made from the sugary sap of the Palmyra palm or the date palm. Now it is also made from the sap of the sago and coconut palms and may be sold as "coconut sugar." The sugar is a golden brown paste, sold in tubes, blocks or tin cans. It may be light-colored or dark, soft and gooey or hard. As a lightly-processed product of cottage industry, it varies greatly from batch to batch.

In Thai cuisine, palm and "coconut sugar" are used interchangeably. However, it may be an important distinction for those concerned with frugivory that "coconut sugar" is in no way derived from the coconut fruit itself. "Although the names are used interchangeably, palm sugar and coconut sugar are not the same. One comes from the palmyra or sugar palm and the other from coconut palm, but both are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds."

When the palms are from 15 to 20 years old they commence flowering and it is only then that they yield the sweet sap from which palm sugar is made.

Toddy tappers have to be extremely agile to shin up palm trees with only a circle of rope around their ankles for support. The sap flows when the inflorescence is tapped but first it must be beaten (gently) with a mallet for a couple of days.

A small slice is taken off the end and a receptacle (usually an earthenware pot or gourd) hung close to the cut to collect the sap each night. The sap is known as 'sweet toddy' and for those lucky enough to be around when this is brought in, has a taste of ambrosia.
The fresh sweet toddy is boiled down shortly after collection to make palm syrup and palm sugar. If this is not done, within a few hours the 'sweet toddy' ferments into a sour, potent brew called toddy, a very intoxicating drink. It is the 'cheap grog' of tropical lands and is not fit to drink the next day.

To concentrate the nectar into solid sugar, the fresh juice is boiled down and evaporated before being poured into bamboo sections to form cylindrical shapes, or into coconut shells so they emerge as large shallow hemispheres, or into small baskets woven of palm leaves.
In this form, the sugar has to be scraped or chipped from the rather hard block. This is used on a daily basis in these countries as a sweetener.There is no identical Western counterpart, but there are substitutes which give a reasonable flavour likeness.Palm sugar is sold in rounded cakes, cylinders, blocks or large plastic or glass jars. This sugar, even when soft, can be extremely dense and very sticky.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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Found some palm sugar today that i haven`t seen before, its brown granulated palmsugar from indonesia.Very soft, looks nice, haven`t tasted it yet though.Tomorrow iґll go and buy the Clemиnt vieux agricole and try it with this palmsugar.
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