Panela Syrup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 1½ cups

Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Melado is a sugarcane syrup originally from the Valle del Cauca Department, where most of the sugarcane in the country is grown and cut year-round. Melado is used there for many desserts and as an ingredient in various other non-sweet recipes like the Arepas de Choclo.


  • ½ pound grated panela*
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon lime juice (optional)
  • Grated peel of one lime (optional)


  1. Place the panela, cinnamon, lime peel, if using, and cups of water in a small saucepan. Simmer to dissolve the panela completely.
  2. Increase the heat and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Test the thickness of the syrup by placing a drop of it on a cool dish and making sure it is thick but runs smoothly when cool.
  3. Add the lime juice if desired.
  4. Set aside to cool.