hist-brewing: sugar info

JazzboBob at aol.com JazzboBob at aol.com
Mon Mar 18 20:23:22 PST 2002

I have been doing research on the use of sugar in brewing and found this 
interesting web site on spices and other period supplies.  I received the 
following response about loaf sugar from the proprietor.  I thought that it 
would be of interest since sugar appears in various period recipes and the 


We do have sugar loaves (small ones), but they are white rather than brown 
sugar. "Loaf sugar" refers to the shape of the block of sugar, not its 
flavor. Until the late 19th century sugar did not come in granulated form, as 
it does today, but in a solid block, or loaf, which was in the shape of a 
cone, rounded at the top. This is (inverted) the shape of the felt strainer 
into which the sugar syrup was poured to let the water seep out, and in which 
shape the sugar solidified. To use your sugar, you broke off a piece and 
powdered it (if powdered was needed), then used it. (Every so often you will 
see, in antique shops, "sugar snippers," which were used to cut pieces down 
into lump size for use with tea and coffee.  Therefore, when a recipe calls 
for "loaf sugar," all that it means is "ordinary sugar," whatever is ordinary 
in the day of the recipe.
Yours sincerely,
David Dendy / <A HREF="mailto:ddendy at silk.net">ddendy at silk.net</A>
partner in Francesco Sirene, Spicer / <A HREF="mailto:sirene at silk.net">sirene at silk.net</A>
Visit our Website at <A HREF="http://www.silk.net/sirene/">http://www.silk.net/sirene/</A>

I also found this baking supply place to have some unusual sugars, syrups, 
grains and flours available.  They even have malted rye.
 <A HREF="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/cgibin/start/ahome/fromoutside2.html?anchor_name=cata">Click here: Welcome to The Baker's Catalogue</A> 

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