Friday, August 24, 2007
Sugar Refiners to the Queen
One of the nice things about the Spec's downtown warehouse is that they have a number of packaged goods imported from overseas in their native packaging. It's like someone went down the aisles of a British grocery store, shoved a bunch of items into his cart, and sent it all to Spec's in Houston. I doubt that it's completely legal because they don't have US-mandated nutritional labels on them, but whatever. The stuff comes from Europe, not some place with dodgy food safety laws. Anyway, Spec's has Lyle's Golden Syrup in the tin that they have apparently used virtually unchanged since it was introduced in the 19th Century. It's produced by Tate & Lyle PLC, who, the label assures me, have the Queen's warrant as Sugar Refiners. And what is golden syrup, you ask? Well, again, the label helpfully tells me that it's partially inverted refiners syrup. And what the heck is that? According to Wikipedia, it's sucrose syrup that has been partially broken down into glucose and fructose by acids or enzymes. The presence of monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) makes it sweeter than it would have been if it had simply been a made from a disaccharide sugar (sucrose). I gather that it's very similar to Karo syrup, which is a mixture of corn syrup (ie, sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup (ie, sucrose and fructose), but we shall see.