What is molasses made of? Where does it come from?

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Molasses is a delicious by-product which is extracted during the sugar cane refining process used to make sugar crystals. The sugar cane is crushed to remove the juice which is then boiled vigorously. Machines utilize centrifugal force to extract the sugar crystals from the syrup. The remaining syrup becomes molasses. The flavor and color of molasses varies depending on how early or late in the process the molasses is extracted. In Britain and Europe, molasses is often referred to as black treacle. Molasses used to be the primary sweetener used in days of yore until refined white sugar pushed it to the back of the shelf. It has a distinctive flavor that brings extra sparkle to spice-laden recipes such as gingerbread, fruitcake, cookies, toffee, baked beans, and sauces. Molasses History The English term molasses comes from the Portuguese melaço which in turn is derived from the Latin mel, meaning honey. Melasus (sic) was first seen in print in 1582 in a Portuguese book heralding the ... more
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