Palm Sugar

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

palm sugar is one of the world’s oldest sweeteners, distinguished from cane sugar in Singhalese chronicles dating from the first century b.c.e. It is produced and consumed across a swath of Asia stretching from the Philippines to India and Sri Lanka. For anyone accustomed to thinking of sugar as either white or brown and just plain sweet, palm sugar is surprising in its complexity, ranging in color from pale yellow to almost black and with a flavor that, in addition to sweet, can be salty, sour, bitter, smoky, or any combination thereof. See sugar.