Thursday, February 7, 2008

January 19th- Sugar Cane

Estephanie watches Ben twist the stalk to get all the juice out

Ben was very serious about this process :)


Erika Says this is harder than it looks!

So we learned how to press sugar cane after having our cooking class, and eating as much as we possibly could! This was probably one of the most fun days we had on the trip. We pressed the cane and then got to drink the "fruits of our labor" so to speak, with a dash of fresh lime juice.

Here are the notes I took on pressing sugar cane:

We also had the opportunity to press some sugar cane on the “cachete”, or sugar cane press. The sugar cane here is a robust plant! The stalks grow very large and thick. Sugar can juice is obtained by pressing the stalks and it is primarily used to make sugar cane rum, or as a sugar cane drink (non-fermented for children) as a delivery agent for medicines, and the stalks are chewed on as candy by the village children.

Basically you squeeze the cane on a wooden press with a long flattened stick. The juice is collected in a bucket and fermented for about 8 days. The pot or container must be sealed on top while the juice ferments. The sugar cane is then distilled in a process similar to the process of making whiskey. As it is distilled it is heated and the degrees centigrade, 10, 14, etc. will tell you the strength of the rum; the higher the degrees the stronger the rum.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Hi Erika - why doesn't it surprise me that you figured out a way to make rum in the middle of the tropical rain forest - glad you and Ben were able to enjoy the "fruits of your labor" - Dad