When we ordered coffee after our delicious lunch at Gourmet’s Cafe last Sunday, bowls of sugar and creamer were placed on our table. As I scooped the sugar, I was surprised at the texture. Although it looked like light brown sugar, the sugar in the bowl was not moist and sticky the way light brown sugar is. The texture is more similar to that of muscovado but it couldn’t be muscovado because muscovado is much darker in color.
Now, I’m not one to fuss about the sugar in my coffee. Organic, non-organic, white, light brown or dark brown — I’ll take any of them except artificial sweetener. So, I proceeded to spoon the mysterious sugar into my cappuccino, sipped my cappuccino contentedly vaguely acknowledging that there was nothing artificial-tasting about the sugar. I would have forgotten my curiosity about its unfamiliar texture had I not found a bottle of similar looking sugar at the shop in front of Gourmet’s Cafe’s main building.
If you’re familiar with the setup at Gourmet’s Cafe, there is a store with a smaller restaurant by the road. The building that houses the main dining area is farther away from the road. After lunch (and after the tour of the farm), we went to the store to see if there was anything interesting. To be more precise, I wanted to find out if the price of Gourmet’s ground coffee was cheaper there. We’re regular consumers of Gourmet’s coffee (I am especially enamored of their hazelnut coffee), I buy my pouches in the supermarket so I wanted to know if I could get the coffee cheaper from the source.
To make a long story short, I found my coffee, the price was the same, but I also found the mysterious sugar. It’s cocosugar made from — coconuts, what else?
I bought a jar. Not cheap. P160.00 for that small jar. If I use it for baking, I’ll go broke.
The question, of course, is that with the abundance of coconuts in this country, why should cocosugar be expensive? Perhaps because the technology is still new, there are still too few producers of cocosugar and, you know, law of supply and demand. High demand and low supply equals high prices. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more producers of cocosugar and we can all benefit from it.
Why, what’s the big deal about cocosugar except for the high price?
Coconut sugar is a byproduct from coconut sap (toddy) obtained traditionally by boiling freshly harvested sap until it evaporates and thickens then allowed to cool and become granular. Chemical analysis shows it contains higher amount of nutrients compared to brown and refined cane sugar. It has higher amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, sulfur and micronutrients levels. Coconut sugar can help in -the proper management and control of diabetes mellitus by lowering the total and LDL cholesterol level.
PCA (Philippine Coconut Authority) said that coconut sugar is good for people with diabetes since it has low glycemic index (GI) of 35. Glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect blood glucose [from Agribusinessweek].
That should be good news for South Beach dieters too.
And for those who prefer organic food, cocosugar — at least, the brand I bought — is organic (made from organically grown coconuts) and has no preservatives.
A doctor also claims that cocosugar might “soon be used as substitute for Viagra becaus of the high glutamic acid content.”
For curiosity’s sake, I will use the cocosugar to bake some cookies or cupcakes to find out how it affects the texture of baked products.