Refined Sugar

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Today, refined sugar has replaced honey in urban areas. Sugarcane was introduced to sub-Saharan Africa by Asian and Arab traders, who brought it in the 640s, along with production know-how, to the Mediterranean and Middle East. Between the seventh and tenth centuries, Arabs and Islamic expansion helped carry sugarcane southward along the Swahili Coast of eastern Africa as far as Zanzibar. Portuguese explorers carried sugarcane to Africa’s northwest coast, where it arrived in West Africa in the fifteenth century. See sugarcane.