Have you ever heard of panela? Most of us haven’t. Unless you are from Colombia, Central America, or Latin America, you are amongst the many of us that don’t know what it is.
So, what exactly is panela?
Panela is an unrefined sugar from sugar cane. It is the only sugar that has not been processed, crystalized, or depleted of its nutrients. Unlike refined sugar, panela retains its nutrients and vitamins. Some of those nutrients include iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
How is it made?
Panela is made by boiling the cane juice until it thickens and then letting it harden in molds.
What does it taste like?
Since more caramelization occurs while making panela, it has a unique caramel taste. It also has a slight molasses taste but not as intense. It looks like brown sugar but it is a lot smoother with a slightly stronger taste.
Where is it mainly produced?
Since stalks of sugar cane grow regularly in Colombia, it is one of the main producers of panela. Because of this, panela is predominantly popular in Colombia.
Just Panela is a new company whose ultimate goal is to educate and raise awareness about the benefits of panela. Just Panela strives to reestablish the declining industry of panela due to the vast takeover of refined processed sugar.
When you open a bag or packet of Just Panela you get an immediate bold scent of molasses. Don’t be afraid because the taste is sweet and not as strong as it smells. It has a delicious caramel taste to it. The texture is so smooth and soft. Just Panela pairs well in a variety of recipes. You can use it in your coffee, tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, baking, and more. Panela is a beneficial alternative to refined sugar. Like any sugar, it should still only be enjoyed sparingly.
For more information on Just Panela and where you can buy their panela please visit their website http://www.justpanela.com .
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*Disclaimer: Some images that appear in this blog post are solely owned by Just Panela, LLC and are used with permission.