After butter shortage, brown sugar disappears from shelves
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After butter shortage, brown sugar disappears from shelves

‘Use white sugar for now,’ Israeli company Sugat says, noting that ‘weather problems’ abroad affected imports

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

White refined, unrefined, unprocessed cane and brown sugar, bottom right Courtesy Wikipedia)
White refined, unrefined, unprocessed cane and brown sugar, bottom right Courtesy Wikipedia)

First butter became vanishingly rare. Now it’s brown sugar.

A serious shortage has been reported in Israeli supermarkets of the sweet stuff, made from white sugar mixed with molasses.

Sugat, the Israeli company that imports most of the country’s brown sugar, has blamed the shortage on the weather.

A spokesperson for the company said there are weather issues in the country of origin, which is the current cause for the lack of brown sugar.

The familiar, one-kil container of Sugat’s brown sugar (Courtesy Sugat)

She wouldn’t, however, name the country from which Sugat imports the sugar.

She did say that Sugat would not give up on the quality of the product it imports, and is working on a solution to the problem.

It plans on continuing to work with the country of origin.

“Use white sugar for now,” she said.

The brown sugar market has long been dominated by the countries of the Asia-Pacific, including China, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Korea, and Indonesia, along with Bolivia and Brazil.

North America is the second-largest producer, but there are currently poor harvesting conditions in the Midwest, the region that supplies most of the country’s beet sugar, according to The New Food Economy food-related news website.

With beet sugar, molasses is added after refining to make brown sugar.

According to The New Food Economy, more than half of total US sugar production, estimated at nearly 18 billion pounds for the year ending September 2019, is composed of beet sugar, while the rest comes from sugar cane grown in warmer states like Louisiana and Texas.

Demerara sugar, light brown sugar that is a partially refined, raw sugar made from the first pressing of sugar cane, has a more subtle molasses flavor, and can often be substituted for brown sugar.

Of course, you can also make your own:

For each cup of sugar, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of molasses for light brown sugar, and up to 1/4 cup for dark brown sugar. Depending on the recipe, you can either combine them in the food processor or just mix them together with other ingredients.

* Silan, or date syrup, can be substituted for molasses.

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