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Nov 6, 2008 01:54 AM

Is there brown sugar available around Aix-en-Provence or on-line?

Wanting to make cookies but can find neither brown sugar or molassas to make it myself. Any ideas? Thanks

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  1. Brown sugar in France is called cassonnade, you should be able to find it no problem

    3 Replies
    1. re: f2dat06

      wrrrrrrrrong. cassonnade is raw sugar and not brown sugar. this is something i had to explain to my french pastry teacher who translated it as such on our recipe sheet.

      i haven't seen brown sugar or molasses in any stores in europe, let alone france. i definately remember a david lebovitz blog post about butterscotch or something and he mentioned that the french don't have brown sugar but that they have something else like it that is more acidic. i have yet to find any such item at the hyper-u or intermarche.

      1. re: honey pot

        brown suar as sold in the us is just white sugar that has been coated with molasses in some industrial proceess, it does not occur naturally, cassonnade is the closest real thing to the industrial product you are accustomed to.

        1. re: honey pot

          brown sugar you are accustomed to in the US is just white refined sugar coated with molasses through some industrial process. Cassonnade is the real thing. You will likely be compelled to use the real thing or get someone to send you the imitation from the US.

      2. Check out "Bio" or other natural food stores.
        Biocoop has a store in Aix-en-Provence and others in surrounding areas:

        Here's a description of sugars from their website:

        Depending on what you are making, and what you are used to making it with, I'd think you'd want "le sucre roux", or "le sucre de canne complet."

        You should also be able to find mélasse or molasses there.

        Hope this helps you find what you want!

        1. I was having the same issue yesterday. I live in Provence and found the prefect thing at our local Cocinelle. It's:

          Saint Louis - Vergeoise Blonde + Moelleux.

          It's perfect and my Chocolate Chunk Cookies taste just like Mom's from PA.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HeathTyler

            am living in France (a CT person usually) and agree that vergeoise is the best bet for brown sugar's close relative. had the Affligem de Noel beer last night, which includes vergeoise (and cinnamon, or cannelle as it's known here)--delicious! get it while you can.

          2. Regarding molasses, you may be able to find it in a health food store. An alternative is the 'foreign' food section of your supermarket. This is often heavily British, and I found black treacle there - I use it for bran muffins, and it seems to work.

            I haven't had any luck with brown sugar in France though. It isn't what I was used to in Canada, not the same moisture content at all. I had always understood that North Amrican brown sugar was at least partly unrefined.

            And here most sugar is from sugar beets, not cane.

            1. Yes! There is brown sugar to be found in Aix -- any grocery store should sell it (i.e. Casino, Carrefour, etc). It's in the sugar aisle, brand is Beghin Say, name of sugar is Saveur Vergeoise BLONDE NATURE. The bag is a yellow-ish color, writing in brown, and there is a picture on crepes and a yogurt topped with brown sugar.

              I had an ordeal myself when I was looking for brown sugar for cookies and only realized this was it when there a bag was opened and I peeked inside!

              Good luck ;)

              2 Replies
              1. re: sweetwell

                in French molasses is called, "la mélasse". It's sometimes in the baking section of supermarkets, or in healthfood storess, or sometimes in ethnic grocery stores. I imagine you can find it online.

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  A word of warning about molasses in France: it's easy to find in any bio store, but it's usually medium molasses. This stuff if relatively sweet and serves as a great, more flavorful replacement for dark beet syrup in German or Central European recipes.

                  I don't think there's a precise term in French that corresponds to "blackstrap molasses", but "mélasse forte" is generally understood by people from the Antilles. This won't be of any help to someone two years ago in Aix-en-pce, but if you go down to Marseille, you can find all manner of Caribbean products, including "real" molasses.