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Jun 13, 2005 01:13 PM

"Mexican" brown sugar - Is this worth looking for??

  • c

I'm going to make a marinade for skirt steak that calls for brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar. I've never heard of the latter and want to know if it's different enought to merit seeking out? If so, can anyone recommend someplace in NoVA, DC, or MD that would carry it? I suspect any one of the many bodegas would.



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  1. The taste is very different to normal brown sugar.

    Mexican brown sugar, called piloncillo ("pee-lohn-see-yoh") is raw brown sugar with all the goop left in, It comes in cone-shaped wedges. It's easy to find here in Los Angeles, and usually cheaper than standard brown sugar, but if you can't get it, use regular dark brown sugar and add some molasses to it.

    I use it for atole, which is a sweet, hot corn-based drink and also for champurrado (which is atole de chocolate).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Fantastic! Thanks oh so much. I rather much like the idea of adding molasses to regular brown sugar - that must taste so good. I'll look for the stuff regardless but your suggestion sounds as tasty.


      1. re: Chalmers
        Hungry Celeste

        Billington's has several brown sugar products (demerara, coffee crystals) that are great alternatives, but they're not as cheap as mexican sugar. Similar taste, though. Billington's is a "real" brown sugar with a nice full flavor.

    2. BSM brand (Beta San Miguel) is a natural granulated sugar from Mexico. I found it on sale last year at 69 cents per 2-kilo bag and bought a whole bunch. It's good sugar, but probably not worth hunting down for one marinade recipe.


      1. The taste is different, but I'd be really surprised if anyone, except maybe a professional taster with relevant experience, would able to discern it in the end product in this particular case.