Sweet Sorghum: Sweetener of the South

By Perre Coleman Magness | October 01, 2013
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Sorghum is the sweetener of the South. That decadent, amber syrup adds a down-home touch to anything. Who doesn’t love biscuits drizzled with sorghum or a healthy dose in a rich baked-bean dish. Sorghum has a rich, sweet flavor with a lovely grassy, earthy note. And there is something about it that just says “South.”

Sorghum is not molasses. Molasses is a byproduct of sugar processing; sorghum is its own sweet self.  It came to the South from Africa and evolved into a cash crop. There are numerous varieties. Some are grown as a sweetener, and others are grown for animal feed or fuel. Sorghum is a grass. (In fact, Ben Franklin noted its usefulness in making brooms.) The grass is cut, then the juice is pressed out and boiled to produce sweet sorghum syrup.

Kentucky and Tennessee are the leading producers of sorghum, so buy local!

Sorghum Recipes

Spiced Sorghum Snaps with Buttermilk Glaze
Sweet Potato Mustard
Brilliant Baked Beans
Bacon Vinaigrette


Find sorghum on the menu at:

Acre — brine for hazelnut-fed pork brisket; corn bourbon sorghum ice cream; sorghum-cashew granola in the roasted banana tartlet
Felicia Suzanne’s — Champagne cocktail; house-made Worcestershire sauce for the New Orleans BBQ oysters; in the house salad vinaigrette
Grove Grill — whole-wheat flatbread crackers; praline sweet potatoes; vanilla cheesecake with blueberry preserves
Napa Cafe — crisp pork belly with arugula, sorghum, and Dijon on toasted brioche; marinade for the rack of lamb
Restaurant Iris — sorghum vinaigrette
Whole Foods Market — baked sweet potatoes with spiced sorghum butter (hot bar); roasted beet salad with citrus and sorghum vinaigrette (chef case)

Article from Edible Memphis at http://ediblememphis.ediblecommunities.com/cook/sweet-sorghum-sweetener-south
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