What are turbinado and demerara sugars?
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Turbinado and demerara sugar are both types of raw sugars, which are less processed than white sugar, retaining more of the natural molasses. Turbinado sugar is made by spinning raw sugar cane in turbines to remove some of the natural molasses, resulting in large, golden crystals with a mild caramel flavor. It is often used as a topping for baked goods, in beverages, or in any application where a subtle molasses flavor is desired without the moisture of brown sugar.
Demerara sugar, originating from the Demerara region of Guyana, is similar to turbinado in that it also retains some molasses. However, it has a slightly larger grain, a more intense molasses flavor, and a crunchier texture. This makes demerara sugar particularly suitable for sprinkling on top of baked goods, where its crunch can be preserved, and in coffee or tea, where its robust flavor complements the beverage.
For bakers and those who enjoy experimenting with different flavors and textures in their cooking, having turbinado or demerara sugar on hand can be beneficial. They offer a more complex flavor profile than regular white sugar and can add a distinctive finish to baked goods, coffees, and teas.
However, for everyday cooking and baking, granulated white sugar and brown sugar can typically suffice. Turbinado and demerara sugars are more about adding a special touch to dishes rather than being a necessity. Therefore, whether these sugars are essential in a pantry largely comes down to personal preference and the specific culinary endeavors one undertakes.
Both turbinado and demerara sugar can be purchased at most grocery stores, specialty food stores, and online. They are commonly found in the baking aisle or the natural/organic section of these stores.