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The Sweet Life & Times of Cane Sugar
Samovar Tea Lounge
San Francisco, CA
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The Sweet Life & Times of Cane Sugar
Mankind has had a sweet tooth since the dawn of time.  However, it is thought that cane sugar was first used by man in Polynesia from where it spread to India. In 510 BC the Emperor Darius of what was then Persia invaded India where he found "the reed which gives honey without bees". The secret of cane sugar was kept a closely guarded secret whilst the finished product was exported for a rich profit.

Sugar was only discovered by western Europeans as a result of the Crusades in the 11th Century AD. Crusaders returning home talked of this "new spice" and how pleasant it was. The first sugar was recorded in England in 1099. The subsequent centuries saw a major expansion of western European trade with the East, including the importation of sugar. It is recorded, for instance, that sugar was available in London at "two shillings a pound" in 1319 AD. This equates to about US$100 per kilo at today's prices, so it was very much a luxury.

But what is the process of making sugar from the sugar cane?  And what are the differences between sugar varieties?  How does the level of refinement change the flavor and texture profile?  And which sugars are suited to which jobs in the kitchen?

Join us for a brief tour of the world of cane sugar where we will answer these questions and more.  Most importantly, you will be able to discover for yourself what the differences are, though a guided tasting of several sugars.  Discussing each new sugar we taste will create an intellectual and convivial atmosphere which will carry us through to high tea:

Refined white sugar
Golden cane sugar
Turbinado sugar
Demerara sugar
Moscovado sugar
Molasses sugar

After the tasting, Samovar will offer a special tea menu inspired by the different sugars.  Price of tea is TBD (approx $35 with tax and tip).

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Location

Samovar Tea Lounge
Yerba Buena Gardens, 730 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
United States


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Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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