Tasting sugar cane and making candy
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Sugar Cane and Candy

Sugar cane - order from Amazon!

Here are three ideas for sugar projects:

Taste some sugar cane or sugar cane juice:

You can order raw sugar cane from Amazon and then try chewing the sticks to get out the sweet juice the way people did in ancient India. Do you like the taste? Is it better or worse than a lollipop made with processed sugar?

C and H sugar
Cane Sugar

Compare cane sugar and beet sugar

You can buy cane sugar and beet sugar at your grocery store. Cane sugar will be marked clearly; if it just says "sugar" it's usually beet sugar. Make two little dishes of each kind of sugar, and taste them. Can you tell which pairs are the same? Most people can't, but some people say they can taste the difference. Cane sugar's more expensive than beet sugar, so if you can't tell you can save some money by buying beet sugar.

Make peppermint candy

You can make your own peppermint candy at home with just sugar and peppermint extract (look in the spice section in the baking aisle). Take a frying pan and put 1/3 cup of sugar and a spoonful of water in it over medium heat. Mix it once with a wooden spoon, and then don't mix it anymore but gently swish it around the pan while it heats. After about five minutes the sugar will turn brown - you might be tempted to give up because it is taking so long, but keep waiting! Meanwhile grease a cookie sheet with butter. When the sugar is the color of a nutshell, add a teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Then take it off the heat and quickly pour it onto the cookie sheet in a thin layer. Let it cool and break it into chunks for peppermint candy. (This gets hot.)

More about sugar

Bibliography and further reading about sugar:

More about sugar
More about Indian food
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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