These two types of molasses—made from sorghum cane and sugarcane—are common on the Lowcountry table, though locally produced syrups are increasingly hard to find. Sorghum is the “Guinea grass” that came to the area with the slaves from West Africa, where it is indigenous. Both sugarcane and sorghum stalks are cut in the fall, ground at mule-driven mills, and boiled and skimmed until the syrup is pure and the right consistency. Most commercial producers of sorghum molasses are in the piedmont regions of the South; sugarcane is grown in Louisiana. Mail orders for sorghum are accepted at Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill (www.muddypondsorghum.com). For pure cane syrup, contact C. S. Steen Syrup Mill, Inc., at (800) 725-1654 or www.steensyrup.com.

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