When we first tasted this brown sugar, we expected it to be, well, brown sugar. Another revelation introduced to us by chef Hiroko Shimbo, this brown sugar is complex in layers of flavor and ideal for sweet and savory dishes alike. Unlike American brown sugar most of which is produced by adding molasses to refined, processed white sugar, Okinawa Kokuto is made only from 100% pure sugar cane juice. All of the rich mineral and vitamin content of the cane remains in this highest quality product.
Unlike refined white sugar, Okinawa Kokuto contains small but balanced quantities of beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. These trace elements give Okinawa Kokuto its unique extremely flavorful taste characterized by sweetness gently wrapped with pleasant acidity, saltiness and bitterness. These unique flavor characteristics distinguish Okinawa Kokuto from other mass-produced brown sugar products. It is also a source of B vitamins.
The production of Okinawa Kokuto begins with the harvest of one and half year old sugar cane. The stalks are pushed through a pressing machine producing delightfully aromatic cane juice. This juice is then transferred to a huge cooking pot and is cooked down for two and half hours until the liquid becomes syrupy. During this process the hot sugar liquid travels from the large pot to smaller pots in three steps as the volume of liquid continues to shrink. At the end of the process very hot syrup is finally transferred to a shallow iron container, raked for several minutes, and then crystallized and dried. Finally the brown sugar is cut into cubes for packaging.