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Apr 22, 2007 09:47 PM


What's the best?

I enjoy drizzling molasses over strained yogurt. Have bought organic-y stuff (I think Wholesome Sweetners brand) more often than not, but recently needed some last minute for a ginger cake recipe, and ran to the corner store where they had Plantation brand Blackstrap. Its got this wonderful salty flavor, just wondering what people who care about this sort of thing feel passionate about.


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  1. I hate to break this to you, but in America molasses is basically a commodity. That is, most major brands are supplied by the same manufacturer, Compton & Knowles. The majors just repackage it under their own brand name. The organics might be different but I can't say for sure.

    The difference between the regular, robust, and blackstrap varieties of molasses has to do with the number of distillations. Blackstrap has been through the ringer so many times that there's barely any sweetness left. Unless you really like the flavor (which it seems that you do) it is generally recommended to never substitute blackstrap molasses for other types of molasses in a recipe. It will significantly alter the taste of the finished product. Some recipes, particularly in brewing, will call for blackstrap. Otherwise, I've never really understood its purpose.

    On the up side, molasses is a very good source of iron and, if I remember correctly, potassium, too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: rockycat

      I heard from my nutrition prof that the iron in molasses comes from iron flaking off of an iron tin containing the sugar - do you know if this is true? sounds strange to me

      my grandfather said he used to eat a spoonful of molasses everyday growing up cause it was good for you. I just like it in bbq sauce and baked beans

      1. re: bitsubeats

        Just read on Wikipedia that submerging something rusty in a mixture of 1 part molasses/9 parts water will loosen the rust after 2 weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised.

        1. re: bitsubeats

          "that the iron in molasses comes from iron flaking off of an iron tin containing the sugar - do you know if this is true?"

          sounds like a load of hooey to me. molasses is part of the process of refining sugar, but it is not made from sugar. i would also doubt that many people use iron tins to ship much of anything - too heavy and of course, it rusts. steel, aluminum, and plastic would all make more sense.

          1. re: andytee

            well I was reading my nutrition book today (I had an exam) and I read that cooking eggs in a cast iron skillet adds a minute amount of iron to your diet - very interesting so I'm assuming that the same can be done for all foods

        2. re: rockycat

          "molasses is basically a commodity. That is, most major brands are supplied by the same manufacturer, Compton & Knowles"

          interesting, I would love to know more about this.

          perhaps what is happening is that i am switching from a "regular" organic molasses to the blackstrap. i actually like it a lot, and could think of tons of uses for it.

        3. Well, the gold standard for coastal New England baked beans is Crosby's Gold Star molasses.

          Blackstrap molasses is way too harsh for most culinary purposes, but you may have identified one of its better uses as a bittersweet counterpoint.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            One big use for blackstrap molasses is in sweet feed (a mixture of crimped oats, cracked corn, alfalfa meal, molasses and vitamin and mineral supplements) for horses. Horses love sweetish food including apples, carrots and warm bran mash. The last is very similar to hot bran cereal and tasted pretty good when I owned a horse many years ago. I never was tempted to try tasting sweet feed, though.

            1. re: Eldon Kreider

              Dad would pour some over the sileage to make it more palatable for the cows. It probably had nutritional benefits, too. Don't know if this mollasses was "blackstrap" or not -- it came in barrels, and the taste was very strong. I can't imagine it having any application for human food.

          2. I'm fond of molasses in general, and prefer blackstrap -- it tastes more molassesy to me, and not so much like just a caramel syrup.

            I love it with cornsticks, for dipping, or drizzled over a bowl of johnny cake cereal.

            And of course ginger bread, molasses snaps, bbq sauces for grilling meats, and once in a great great while, a tbs in a cup of coffee.

            I have to say, that I generally just buy what is cheapest, and have never noticed any particular flavor difference beyond "blackstrap tastes better".

            1. My Grandpa Owen's breakfast every day was two slices of white bread with molasses (Br'er Rabbit Dark) drizzled over it. My favorite variant of that is crumbled stale cornbread in a bowl with milk and molasses, on which I practically lived during one stretch of serious poverty.

              While it may be technically true that molasses is "not made from sugar," it is a product of the sugar cane juice that stays behind after some or all of the available sucrose is extracted. Being an old-fashioned kind of guy in many ways I like a good lick of blackstrap now and then, and prefer my molasses dark in any case. My only objection to it is the uncanny way it seems to want to ooze out from under the bottle cap and leave a sticky mess on the shelf, which tends to go unnoticed until I try to pick up the bottle or something sitting next to it...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Will Owen

                Just be glad you don't live next to a million gallon tank of the stuff.

              2. Want a real treat? Seak out a bottle of cane syrup from Georgia. You'll love it.

                Blackstrap always reminds me of the what you get if you leave a pot of coffee on for a couple of days.