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Old 05-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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Cane vs Beet Sugar

Can the use of beet, instead of cane sugar create a subtle difference in the flavor of the food to which they have been added?

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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I bake a lot, and use both and have never noticed any difference. White sugar is so refined that it really doesn't have any flavor anyway.

I also have noticed no performance difference whether baking or candy. I've read where some people swear that they notice a difference, but I haven't.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
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In more than 55 years of baking and cooking I have never noticed a bit of difference and I make no effort to check the package to see how or from what the sugar was refined.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Depends on who you want to believe. The sugar industry says there is no difference in taste or performance. Some testers believe there is a minor difference in taste and performance. In fact. 55% of the granulated sugar sold is from beets. Why? Because it's cheaper to produce than cane.

Thanks to Wikipedia and the San Francisco Chronicle for technical support.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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I do not care for beet sugar. I think it's granules are too granular.

I try to watch my sugar in-take these days, but given that it's included in some form, esp HFCS, in the least suspected products, it's hard to keep track of everything. For home baking, I prefer cane sugar where sugar is called for.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
I do not care for beet sugar. I think it's granules are too granular.
Me too. When creaming my sugar & butter together at Christmas time last year it never quite reached the texture I was expecting, nor did the dough handle normally (was making kringla) using beet sugar.

Despite what the sugar beet industry tries to tell you ~ they're after your $$ and it's in their best interest to tell you is there "no significant" difference ~ I think there is. And sugar beet "brown" sugar is just plain gross, imo.

I don't have any white sugar here right now. If I absolutely have to use some sugar for something I'm using palm sugar which scores a very low GI @ 35 and has not had it's vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which include potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6 stripped away from it. Compare that to cane or beet sugar, which is highly processed, and they ring in @ a GI of 95.

I am learning to use honey, maple syrup, date puree, etc. You're obviously never gonna nosh on a bowl filled with palm sugar or any of the alternatives trying to fill any of your daily vitamin requirements ... but I dig the fact that there are alternatives out there that make way more nutritional sense. It's amazing how much our taste becomes desensitized to "sweetness" when it used in practically everything on the grocery store shelves. Making a conscious effort to avoid HFCS and the like has really almost eliminated any "sweet" cravings I had.

Wow, that ended up being a long-winded response & kind of soap-boxxy...

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Old 05-23-2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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I prefer cane sugar.

I have had problems using some of the bargain brands of sugar and I have always assumed that beet sugar was the culprit.

Sadly my sugar eating days are pretty much behind me so it is no longer a big issue.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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I've never really paid much attention to what I use.

My Mother worked for C&H for many years when I was a young one.

But what I found interesting is that we lived in California and it was sugar beets they processed at the factory where she worked.

So the theme of C & H being pure cane sugar always confused me.

Anyway .... I do recall some times when creaming sugar and butter was not quite as successful as other times so perhaps that what caused it.

I always take my sugar out of the package and store in airtight rubbermaid containers .. next time I will read the package and see what I am buying!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
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C&H stands for California and Hawaii. Two states that have a very large Mormon population. C&H is owned by the Mormon church. They have very large sugar beet farms in the Northwest. I had a nephew by marriage that managed one of the farms in Idaho.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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has anyone tasted either product raw?

i have, and while both are sweet, sugar beets are kinda gross but i love to gnaw on pieces of sugar cane.

it's like eating a branch, but it tastes just like sugar.

i had originally bought some canes for my parrots to chew, but after i tasted them, we share.

my local korean market carries foot long sections of sugar cane.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:48 AM   #11
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has anyone tasted either product raw?

i have, and while both are sweet, sugar beets are kinda gross but i love to gnaw on pieces of sugar cane.

it's like eating a branch, but it tastes just like sugar.

i had originally bought some canes for my parrots to chew, but after i tasted them, we share.

my local korean market carries foot long sections of sugar cane.
You can buy it by the bunch, in any supermarket in Hawaii. Four or five sticks about a foot long each bundled together.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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to me beet sugar is sweeter, no difference in flavor.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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cane only here - I can give you a list of disasters using beet. Especially in candy making and anything you need to set up. Well worth the extra money as you will end up spending more on the beet sugar when you having to throw away what you made
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
C&H stands for California and Hawaii. Two states that have a very large Mormon population. C&H is owned by the Mormon church. They have very large sugar beet farms in the Northwest. I had a nephew by marriage that managed one of the farms in Idaho.
C&H has never been owned by the Mormon church. It's currently owned by the Fanjul brothers (as is Domino sugar). You may be thinking of U&I (as in Utah and Idaho), which went out of business in the 70s.

The cheaper store brands are almost always beet sugar. As far as I know, C&H is, and always has been, cane sugar. But I'm not 100% certain anymore.

As far as a difference in flavor, I do notice one. I also find that beet sugar doesn't dissolve as readily as cane sugar.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #15
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I haven't purchased or used refined sugar, either cane or beet, in quite a number of years. For cooking and baking I am strictly a Florida Crystals kind of guy, be it granulated or demerarra.

For beverages I use organic blue agave nectar, which I get free-fer-nuthin from the company where I currently consult. But even though they'll give me all I want, I still think it's too expensive to cook and bake with. Unless, of course, I am developing a recipe for them! Then I feel I am required to use as many of their products as is feasible.
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