Monday, June 17, 2013

Market Pantry Brown Sugar

I was running low on brown sugar a few weeks ago and bought this bag to ensure I wouldn't run out. Of course, I was paranoid and didn't have to open it for about two months.

If you're a "brand buyer" who would normally avoid a non-marketed store brand, check out the ingredient. It's brown sugar.

Looking it up in Larousse Gastronomique, I found among the five pages dedicated to sugar a description of brown sugar:
unrefined (or raw) cane sugar containing 85-99.5% sucrose and certain impurities (which give it its varying shades of brown). Marketed in granulated, lump, or cube form, it possesses a distinctive flavour. There are various types - the very dark moist soft molasses sugar and muscovado, through a pale muscovado to the large crystallized demerara. Some essential minerals and vitamins may be present, but probably in insufficient quantities to substantiate claims that it is nutritionally superior to white sugar. Some commercial brown sugars, however, are refined white sugar with caramel or molasses added to colour and flavour them. This is indicated on the label under 'Ingredients'. The natural product will have no such list. 
In the US, the FDA requires per CFR Title 21 section 101.3 that "the principal display panel of a food in package form shall bear as one of its principal features a statement of the identity of the commodity" even if it's a natural product like brown sugar.

Brown sugar, available in the baking aisle of your Super Target or Mega Target or Target Megamart or whatever they call the Targets which sell food, for $2.29 a 2-lb package, making each of 227 teaspoons about $0.01 each. If my math is right, that makes each quarter cup about $0.12.