What is Molasses?

Many people read about and hear the word molasses, but may not have any idea what it really is.  Molasses is what gets created when the juices from sugar cane, sugar beets or grapes are processed. They are first extracted and then boiled to make sugar and then the by-product of this process is molasses. The blackstrap molasses is boiling down of the sugar syrup. Sweet sorghum is also part of the Molasses family, even though it really is not molasses.

There is something that people may not realize is that blackstrap molasses has a trace of vitamins. The blackstrap molasses is also a source of magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.  There is still sugar in the molasses, but to know it does have a trace of something healthy can be something that is a great feeling.  It may also be a sold as a health supplement.

Molasses is commonly used in baking. It is also used in the cuisine for the Middle East as well.  But in the Middle East they may use many different other materials to produce molasses.  Sometimes the syrup is what provides the bittersweet flavor when it comes to baked beans.  Blackstrap molasses can also give chicken or turkey a rich color and taste when used to baste.

There are also many other ways to use molasses.  Who knew there were so many different uses?  Some of them include, but are not limited to some of the following:

  • It can be used as the base for fermentation for things like rum.
  • Commonly used for dark brewed alcohol, some examples include stout and dark heavy ales.
  • Used as an iron supplements for those who have a hard time tolerating other things associated with iron supplements.
  • Used as additives for livestock grains.
  • In Australia it fermented and used as ethanol for motor vehicles as far as alternative fuel.

The phrase “slow as molasses” comes from the thick and syrupy texture of the molasses.  The blackstrap molasses has a robust bittersweet flavor and is dark in color, almost a black-brown hue.  This type of molasses is made during the third boiling of sugar syrup.  This means it is a concentrated by-product left over after they take the sugar’s sucrose crystallized.

The blackstrap molasses is unsulphured, which means it does not contain some of the processed chemicals that people are sensitive to.  But people need to know it is cleaner and has a more clarified taste.  It is also made from organic sugar cane.  Containers that are not opened can be kept for one year and opened containers will keep for about six month.

The popularity of the blackstrap molasses came around the mid-20th century.  Some of the largest producers include India, Taiwan, Brazil, Thailand, the United States and the Philippines.

There are many different ways that the blackstrap molasses can be used.  Who would have thought of all of these options a long time ago?  Knowing all that molasses can do and how it is made is great to know.

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