365 Project Day 249: Candy is Dandy, but...

Many parts of the south are wonderful for agriculture, with long growing seasons and fertile soil.  The marshes of Louisiana, however, are good for growing only two things: rice and sugar.

Brought to Louisiana first by priests in the 1700s, sugarcane is still grown in large swaths of the southern parts of the state.  You can visit a real live working sugar plantation (if you can stomach a pretty serious whitewashing of southern plantation history).  There's even a sugar cane festival in New Iberia each year.  Anyone who's driven by Lafourche or Gramercy in the summer knows intimately the sickly sweet, slightly burnt smell of the cane being processed into sugar, and then boiled down more into molasses.  It's so common in these parts that my father talks of chewing on the cane as a treat when he was a kid, and cane still shows up in area groceries for that purpose.

Local sugar products have always been around Nola in Steen's syrups.  And lately, smaller purveyors like Three Brothers Farm are bringing Louisiana made raw sugar back to store shelves.

This leaves Louisiana with a huge advantage when folks want to "eat local" - we've got local sugar and molasses.  And in fact, Steen's Molasses Cake - recipe on the jar - is easily veganized by swapping out the egg for soy yogurt and using any plant milk.  I'll bake it again in November... when it's finally cool enough to turn on the oven.  ;)

Oh hey - do y'all know what else is made with sugarcane?


  1. I use Steen's to make my candied pecans! Not every store in Texas carries it, but I'm always happy when I find it.

  2. I love recipes that give the number of times to mix.


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