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Sugar: Sweet taste to our dishes

Sugar is a symbol of sweetness and pleasure. With it we give a special flavor to desserts, morning coffee, afternoon tea as well as to lots of recipes. But we must not only take it into account as an ingredient, as sugar is so much more: it is an essential element that provides energy that our bodies need to cope with a daily rhythm.

Sugar belongs to the group of carbohydrates, and is therefore an essential nutrient to consider in our diet. With consumption in the proportions set as most suitable, ranging from 60 to 80 grams per day (about six tbsp), we will make our muscles and our brain work perfectly.

A little bit of history

Sugar

Sugar

In the late 17th century, sugar was practically spread all over the world. But its origin goes back thousands of years before. Specifically, the first references are dated 5000 years ago. It was extracted from sugar cane in Africa. Its spread was gradual eastward, where it was known by Arabs who, in turn, were responsible for carrying it across the Mediterranean.

It came to Spain in the Middle Ages together with the Arab civilization. In those times sugar was used to enhance recipes, but mostly it was used by pharmacists to develop remedies. With the advent of the conquest of the New World, sugar cane was transported where it found a suitable climate for cultivation.

In 1705, a young French chemist, Oliver Serres, discovered the sucrose content in beet. This appeared the possibility to get sugar from another source that could grow in Europe better than cane sugar. Napoleon Bonaparte, due to the continental blockade imposed in the 19th century promoted the cultivation of beet for sugar extraction.

Sugar and its types

 Types of sugar

Types of sugar

Natural sugar such as sucrose is known in scientific terms, it is a disaccharide that is formed from the union of one molecule of glucose and fructose. It has an easy and rapid energy absorption, which leads to rapid use by the body and therefore is not stored as fat. It carries the force and energy necessary to perform the tasks of everyday life.

Table sugar comes from cane or beets. From there, there are many varieties that can be obtained through refining the original product:

White sugar and refined sugar: these two types of sugar have a granular or lump structure and are best used in cooking containing between 97-99% sucrose.

Icing sugar is a derivative of white or powder, obtained precisely from the pulverization.

Molasses: the residue left after refining sugar. It is mainly used for the production of rum.

Brown sugar: it has a tan hue which gives it its name. Currently, most of this type is obtained by adding sugar to white sugar molasses extract.

Depending on the type of flavor you want to contribute to your recipes you could use one or the other. This will get a special touch, and improve your sense of well being, since sugar does not just energy but also as a great antidepressant, because it enhances the release of endorphins, a substance produced in brain and which is responsible for enhancing the state of happiness.

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