Sunday, November 08, 2020

Palm candy

Palm tree known as Barassus flabellifer grows to a height of about 40 – 70 feet with a girth of 3.5 to 7 feet. It is one of the palms which produce a sweet sap called neera, or sweet toddy, a nutritious beverage.

Palm trees usually thrive in tropical and sub-tropical regions. In fact, there is an area designated as Palm Belt of the world, which extends up to 45° on both sides of the equator. This belt involves three continents covering 13 countries in Africa, ten in Asia and five in South America.

Palm candy (or crystalline sugar) and jaggery is a natural sweetener made from its sap (neera).

Palm candy making: Neera is first heated to 40-60 °C in order to remove impurities. Fresh palm sap is boiled shortly to collect palm candy and palm sugar. If this is not done, within few hours the ‘sweet toddy’ ferments into a sour and potent brew called toddy, which is not fit to drink the next day.

After removal of sediments it is heated to 110° C for 2 hours until reaches honey like consistency. The syrup is then transferred to a specially made container, crystallizer and kept intact for 41 days. During this period the syrup undergoes a process of crystallization and pearl-like candy crystals grow in the crystallizer. Sugar crystals start forming after 45-60 days. The crystals are washed and dried in sun before packing.
Palm candy

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