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Sugar

I’ve touched on sugar, mostly brown sugar,  in the past “Pantry 101 – Baking and Spices 6-12”  but we got a question from Debbie in California asking what is the difference between  cane sugar, corn sugar, and beet sugar, so we’ll go into depth to answer that question here.

Sugar

Wikipedia defines sugar as:

Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucroselactose, and fructose,[1] characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugars refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols,[2] while in its singular form, sugar normally refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined (or free sugar) form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucosefructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Currently, Brazil has the highest per capita production of sugar.[3] 

Cane Sugar

C&H’s web site says this about cane sugar:

“How Cane Sugar is Better (or, Why cane sugar can't be beet)

Not all sugars are created equal. Lots of us have been brought up thinking that all sugars are—well—pretty much the same, and that the kind of sugar we use won’t make much difference. Even today, most people don’t know that some grocery stores carry two different kinds of sugar: cane sugar and beet sugar. Pure Cane Sugar, the kind C&H uses exclusively, is refined from sugarcane plants. The first cultivated sugar crop, sugarcane is grown above ground, nurtured in fresh tropical breezes under warm sunshine. Beet sugar, found in some store brands and in other makers that often don’t specify the source, is extracted from beets grown underground as a root crop. Cane sugar contains trace minerals that are different from those in beet sugar, and it’s these minerals that many experts say make cane sugar preferable to use. As professional bakers have long noticed, cane sugar has a low melting-point, absorbs fewer extraneous and undesirable odors, blends easily and is less likely to foam up. And that can be very important when you’re caramelizing a syrup, making a delicate glaze, baking a delicious meringue, or simmering your family’s favorite jam recipe.”

Brands

Domino Sugar, Dixie Crystal and C&H are all cane sugar and say so on the label
Holly Sugar, which acquired Spreckles, is beet sugar

Beet Sugar

Chemically identical to cane sugar 99.05 percent.  But that .05 percent makes a big difference when cooking.  Beets are harvested in the fall and are usually grown much further from the processing plant than sugar cane, requiring a higher transportation cost.  Beets are a root vegetable and more processing is required to clean them and separate the greens.  Also important to note is that beets are a rotational crop while sugar cane is a mono crop.  Rotational crops require 4 times as much land to grow as mono crops.  To learn more about how beets are turned into sugar go here.  For all practical purposes the only difference between beet and cane sugar may be how they react to heat.

Corn Sugar

Corn sugar aka corn syrup.  Yes, just like the corn syrup in your pantry.  Now, the difference is that corn syrup has no fructose as opposed to cane sugar or beet sugar.  Table sugar, composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, is from sugar beets or sugar cane.    For a lot of reasons I won’t get into now, but can be found in the movie “King Corn“, corn syrup is much cheaper to produce than cane or beet sugar, but it doesn’t taste the same. In step the scientists to “fix” that problem.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Scientists found a way to chemically alter corn syrup to create a cheap liquid sugar by adding fructose, hence the name high fructose corn syrup.  The corn syrup is high in fructose relative to other corn syrup, not to sugar.  HFCS-55 has a similar fructose ratio to honey and is composed of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose and is used in soft drinks.  There is also a HFCS-45, which is less sweet than sugar and HFCS-55 and is used in many baked goods, jams, jellies, and cereals. HFCS-45 contains 45 percent fructose and 55 percent glucose.  It is widely believed that because HFCS has been chemically altered that the body doesn’t react to it in the same way as sugar, but that has yet to be proven.

Conclusion

Many believe that caramel made with beet sugar will crystallize and never form caramel where cane sugar works well. Cane sugar on a creme brulee caramelizes while beet sugar burns.  Some cooks believe that making boiled icing with beet sugar is a mess.  If the package of sugar doesn’t say cane, it’s beet.  Some brands mix the two.

 

Happy baking and keep on Farming you Fat Farmers- Jughandle

Pantry 101-General Goods & Condiments 27-33

General goods & Condiments
1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins
11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking
39. Mango Chutney

27) ketchup

Ketchup (also spelled catsup or catchup), also known as tomato ketchup, tomato sauce, red sauce, Tommy sauce, Tommy K, or dead horse, is a condiment, usually made from tomatoes. The ingredients in a typical modern ketchup are tomato concentrate, spirit vinegar, corn syrup or other sugar, salt, spice and herb extracts (including celery), spice and garlic powder. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, onion, and other vegetables may be included.
Ketchup started as a general term for sauce, typically made of mushrooms or fish brine with herbs and spices. Some popular early main ingredients included blueberry, anchovy, oyster, lobster, walnut, kidney bean, cucumber, cranberry, lemon, celery and grape.
Ketchup is often used with chips (French fries), hamburgers, sandwiches and grilled or fried meat. Ketchup is also used as a base for various sauces.

Unfortuately most of today’s Ketchup, Catsup, has High Fructose Corn syrup in it. We have found that Heinz now has an “Organic” version that is HFC free. Make you own and you can control the contents. Ella Ween Myer’s is very good.

28) mustard
Wikipedia says it best:

The Romans probably developed the prepared mustards we know today. They mixed unfermented grape juice, known as “must,” with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make “burning must”, mustum ardens—hence “must ard”.

Varieties
Mustard, yellow
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 70 kcal 280 kJ
Carbohydrates 8 g
– Sugars 3 g
– Dietary fiber 3 g
Fat 3 g
Protein 4 g
Sodium 1120 mg 75%
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

There are many varieties of mustard which come in a wide range of strengths and flavors. The basic taste and “heat” of the mustard is largely determined by seed type, preparation and ingredients.[1][3] Black seeded mustard is generally regarded as the hottest type. Preparation also plays a key role in the final outcome of the mustard. Mustard, in its powdered form, lacks any potency and needs to be fixed; it is the production of allyl isothiocyanate from the reaction of myrosinase and sinigrin during soaking that causes gustatory heat to emerge. One of the factors that determines the strength of a prepared mustard is the temperature of the water, vinegar, or other liquid mixed with the ground seeds: hotter liquids are more hostile to the strength-producing compounds. Thus, hot mustard is made with cold water, while using hot water results in milder mustard (other factors remaining the same).
The pungency of mustard is always reduced by heating, not just at the time of preparation; if added to a dish during cooking much of the effect of the mustard is lost.
Locations renowned for their mustard include Dijon (medium strength) and Meaux in France; Norwich (very hot) and Tewkesbury, famed for its variety, in the United Kingdom; and Düsseldorf (hot) and Bavaria in Germany. There are variations in the subsidiary spices and in the preparation of the mustard seeds. The husks may be ground with the seeds, or winnowed away after the initial crushing; “whole-grain mustard” retains some unground or partially ground mustard seeds. Bavarian “sweet mustard” contains very little acid, substituting copious amounts of sugar for preservation. Sometimes prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite, sometimes it is aged. Irish mustard is a wholegrain type blended with whiskey and/or honey.
Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under the auspices of the European Union; thus, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs, most Dijon mustard is manufactured outside of Dijon.

Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic “green” juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.

Mustards from Dijon today generally contain both white wine and burgundy wine; most mustards marketed as Dijon style contain one or both of these wines.
Yellow mustard

A bottle of yellow mustard.

Yellow mustard is the most commonly used mustard in the United States and Canada, where it is sometimes referred to simply as “mustard”; in the rest of the world, it is often called American mustard. This is a very mild mustard colored bright yellow by the inclusion of turmeric. It was introduced in 1904 by George T. French as “cream salad mustard”. This mustard is closely associated with hot dogs, deli sandwiches, and hamburgers. Along with its use on various sandwiches, yellow mustard is a key ingredient in many potato salads, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings. Yellow mustard is often rubbed on barbecue meat prior to applying a dry rub, to form a crust, called bark, on the meat.
Wholegrain mustard

In wholegrain mustard, the seeds are not ground, but mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved by using different blends of mustard seed species. Some variations have additives such as sun-dried tomato mustard and chili mustard.
Honey mustard

This honey mustard has added peppers and spices.

Honey mustard, as the name suggests, is a blend of mustard and honey, usually 1:1. It is most often used as a topping for sandwiches and as a dip for chicken strips, french fries, onion rings, and other finger foods. It can also be used combined with vinegar and/or olive oil to make a salad dressing. The most basic honey mustard is a mixture of equal amounts of honey and mustard; however, most varieties include other ingredients to modify the flavor and texture. Combinations of English mustard with honey or demerara sugar are popularly used in British cuisine to coat grilled lamb cutlets or pork chops. Peppers and spices are sometimes added to give honey mustard a distinct hot and spicy taste.
English and French mustards
The two most common varieties of mustard in Europe are English and French mustard. The English variety is typically bright yellow in appearance, but much hotter than American mustard, akin to a Wasabi like sensation and is used sparingly. In the UK, the brand Colman’s is almost synonymous with mustard itself. The French variety is typically darker in color and contains more vinegar, giving a milder taste.
Irish mustard

Irish mustard is a blend of wholegrain mustard with honey and/or Irish whiskey.
Chinese mustard

Chinese mustard is a commonly served condiment in Chinese cuisine, and in Chinese American cuisine it is available (along with soy sauce and duck sauce) in small clear plastic packages when ordering Chinese take-out food. A similar form of mustard is also served in Korean cuisine, particularly with the buckwheat noodle dish called naengmyeon. In Japanese cuisine, a similar type of mustard is called karashi, and is served with oden, natto and other dishes. Chinese mustard is basically mustard powder and water. It is very strong compared to other types of mustard. In Bangladeshi cuisine, a similar type of mustard is used, although it is mostly consumed in Chittagong province.
Horseradish mustard

Horseradish mustard contains horseradish as well as mustard. The horseradish adds a sour flavour plus additional heat. Horseradish mustard is generally available as either mild or hotter than English mustard.
Culinary uses

Mustard is often used at the table as a condiment on meat. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades and barbecue sauce. It can also be used as a base for salad dressing when combined with vinegar and/or olive oil. Mustard is a popular accompaniment to hot dogs, pretzels, and Bratwurst.

Dry mustard, typically sold in tins, is used in cooking and can be mixed with water to become prepared mustard.

Prepared mustard is generally sold at retail in glass jars or plastic bottles although in Europe it is often marketed in metal, squeezable tubes. Some types of prepared mustard stored for a long time may separate, causing mustard water, which can be corrected by stirring or shaking. If stored for a long time unrefrigerated mustard acquires a bitter taste. Refrigeration greatly prolongs shelf life.

29) salad dressings
Salad dressings are anything that you dress a salad with. You can buy store bought anything, but watch out for the ingredients and calories. We usually make our own. Darlene likes a nice French or Thousand Island, I usually like an Italian or Oil & Vinegar. Here are a couple of good dressing recipes that are better than store bought:

French:
Ingredients

1 oil, we use olive or corn oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor; blend until well mixed. You can vary the amount of each ingredient or add some different ones to taste.

Thousand Island

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 garlic clove (omit for a milder flavor)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon sweet pickles chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar
3-4 teaspoons sugar to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste

30) soy sauce
Soy sauce is a staple condiment and ingredient throughout all of Asia. Produced for thousands of years, soy sauce is a salty, brown liquid made from fermented soy beans mixed with some type of roasted grain (wheat, barley, or rice are common), injected with a special yeast mold, and liberally flavored with salt. After being left to age for several months, the mixture is strained and bottled. The sauce’s consistency can range from very thin to very thick. Flavors, too, vary by type and have very subtle differences. Light soy sauce from Japan has a thinner consistency and a saltier flavor than the darker varieties. It is preferred when a darker sauce will ruin the appearance of a dish, or when a lighter flavor is sought, especially when serving seafood. Dark soy sauce is used throughout Asia and is a bit richer and thicker than the lighter varieties. It tends to have a chocolate brown color, and a pungent, rather than overly salty, flavor. Mushroom soy sauce is a dark soy sauce from China which adds straw mushroom essence to the sauce’s brew. It has a deep, rich flavor and can be used in place of other types of soy sauce in most recipes. It is especially nice as a table condiment where its unusual flavor can come through. Tamari is a deeply colored Japanese soy sauce which has a rich texture and intense flavor. It can be used anywhere regular soy sauce is called for, and is especially good to use as a table condiment and dipping sauce. Wheat-free varieties of soy sauce are available in some markets. Remember soy sauce is very salty, so adjust you salt accordingly.

31) hot pepper sauce
OMG – where do we start? I think of hot pepper sauce or just pepper sauce as the bottles of peppers with vinegar in them that you use on greens. This should include hot sauce too, which, to me are the red and brown sauces. This is a book in itself so I will just give my opinion. I have no fewer than 50 pepper sauces and hot sauces in my fridge or pantry and any given time. But except for special occasions I use probably three or 4. Tobassco in all forms is great. I use the original on most drinks or dishes that call for heat. If I want smoke, I use the chipolte type. If I want a milder heat but need the flavor I always go for either Crystal, or Louisiana Hot sauce.

32) Worcestershire sauce
This could be my favorite sauce. Lea & Perrins is the original sauce and it is still the best. Unfortuately it is made with HFCS so I have been looking for alternatives. French’s makes a no HFCS sauce with sugar instead, but for some reason it isn’t as good. I even made my own. It was ok, but something was missing. I noticed on the ingredients of the Lea & Perrins that the only thing I didn’t use in mine was tamarind. Not really knowing what tamarind was I did a little research and bingo, I found some tamarind bean pods at Harry’s. They are hard on the outside and easy to crack. Inside they are really sticky and paste like. That was the flavor I was missing. My Worcestershire is now almost as good but it costs $10 a bottle.

33) barbecue sauce
Here again is a topic for great debate. The best sauce I personally have ever put in my mouth is Brent Naugher’s home made sauce. It is a perfect blend of hot and spice and tomato. It tastes sweet sometimes and salty others, it is just thick enough and I get some every Christmas. I’m sorry for you that don’t. The best store bought I’ve had is William’s Brothers. You can get it at Sam’s in large bottles or Kroger in small. It is close, but no cigar, to Brent’s. Try making your own, its fun and your tastes are different than anyone elses.

Bye,

Jughandle