Muscovado is derived from the Spanish word "mascabado" which mean unrefined.
In the Philippines, this natural cane sugar has long been produce since the pre-Hispanic era. During this period, it uses the traditional method of crushing and cooking sugarcane juice to produce the natural sweetness that is free from harmful chemicals.
The muscovado sugar is closer to natural sugarcane juice than brown sugar. It went through little processing, thus retains more vitamins and minerals of the natural sugarcane.
In the 1900's, the traditional method of making sugar gave way to the beginning of new technologies. This started the domination of clean and crystal clear refined sugar in the market. The white and brown sugar overshadowed the existence of muscovado sugar which was believed to be dirty during those years and relegated it as the "poor man's sugar".
Muscovado sugar is used just like normal sugar. You can add it as sweetener for your coffee and tea. It is also excellent for cooking and baking.
Mineral content of Muscovado Sugar (per 100g):
• Total mineral salts 740 mg max.
• Phosphorus (P) 3.9 mg max.
• Calcium (Ca) 85 mg max.
• Magnesium (Mg) 23 mg max.
• Potassium (K) 100 mg max.
• Iron (Fe) 1.3 mg max
Muscovado sugar retains all the cane sugar nutrients compared to the known normal white sugar. It is high in minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron.
In producing the muscovado sugar, it follows a very traditional process. The natural cane sugar is the main ingredient. Other ingredients are calamansi and fresh coconut milk. Coconut milk is used to prevent the juice from foaming in the heating process. During heating process, the water content and cane juice evaporates and will slowly thicken into a viscous liquid. The liquid is sun dried and will produce a hardened sugar. It will then be pounded for the last process to produce the natural unrefined muscovado sugar.
TRIVIA: The island of Negros is known as the "Sugar Bowl of the Philippines". Negros Occidental produces more than half the nation's sugar output.