HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
What are you cooking today? Get great advice

Roland Demerara Sugar Cubes -- anyone know a (cheap) local source?

mezzodiva54 Dec 16, 2013 11:21 AM

I've been getting these for a steal from Kam Man (formerly Super 88) in Dorchester, but they don't seem to be carrying them anymore. I'd rather not have to order a year's supply online, and I refuse to pay Whole Paycheck's usurious price. Anyone know another local retailer? Thanks!

  1. StriperGuy Jan 14, 2014 06:37 AM

    Not exactly the same as Demerara, but in my book much more delicious. Any of the local latino grocery stores (Mayfair in Allston, or any of the two or three now on Moody in Waltham) will have Pilon which is whole, block unrefined brown sugar.

    It's a smidge of work to cut up, the stuff is just shy of concrete, but I use it wherever brown sugar or demerara is called for and it is SO flavorful and super inexpensive. A pound is usually $2 or so. The flavor is just wonderful.

    7 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy
      opinionatedchef Jan 14, 2014 03:48 PM

      stripey, i do alot of baking, so that Pilon is very attractive to me. What IS the best way to get it to go granular? Maybe this will also give me impetus to use my prehistoric concrete cone of Indian jaggery....

      1. re: opinionatedchef
        StriperGuy Jan 15, 2014 06:54 AM

        If you've had that jaggery for a long time it'll be almost impossible to cut up. It gets harder with age. I think there may be a way to store it in a plastic bag with say a moist cloth for a day or so, or even nuke it with a damp cloth to soften it up.

        I use a mongo chef's knife to sort of shred it off the block of sugar. Usually that is pretty close to regular brown sugar when I'm done. If I and up with any particularly big/chunky bits I just chop finer. Try the stuff, even plain just nibbled on it is so rich and complex and flavorful. Really a wonderful product. I love it on oatmeal with some good raisins, or fresh fruit and a dollop of butter.

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          StriperGuy Jan 15, 2014 08:54 AM

          Think I was a little off on the name, I guess Piloncillo is more common, and the alternative panela I was aware of. Great wikipedia page:


          Good pic here:


          1. re: StriperGuy
            opinionatedchef Jan 15, 2014 11:56 PM

            thx for the inspiration. this will be cool

            1. re: StriperGuy
              gracenote Jan 18, 2014 05:02 PM

              I lived in southeastern Arizona, across from the Peloncillo Mountains, for a year. I was told the name for the dry brown mountains derived from the brown sugar cones, Piloncillos, popular in Mexico.

              Also, I was in a Stop & Shop in Beverly today and saw Demerara sugar but did not make note of the brand or price.

              1. re: gracenote
                Allstonian Jan 19, 2014 12:14 AM

                Demerara sugar is readily available in pretty much any Boston area supermarket. Mezzodiva54 is looking for demerara sugar *cubes*.

                1. re: Allstonian
                  gracenote Jan 19, 2014 12:26 PM

                  they were sugar cubes, I think they were in the coffee aisle.

        2. Science Chick Jan 13, 2014 01:43 PM

          You can get a 35 oz box on Amazon for $22 with free shipping (if you have Prime account). Not sure if you consider that a year's supply or not!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Science Chick
            misseri Jan 15, 2014 07:59 AM

            I was just looking at that link, and for some reason, the two-pack is cheaper! Not just by the pound, but overall. It works out to 28 cents/oz (compared to the single box, which is 63 cents/oz).

            Very weird.

          2. Allstonian Jan 13, 2014 01:28 PM

            Not Roland, but I saw Gilway brand demerara sugar cubes in the Brigham Circle S&S this morning. I realize now that I neglected to note the price, but I did confirm that they are real unrefined sugar, not colored with caramel.

            1. m
              mezzodiva54 Dec 20, 2013 08:03 PM

              UPDATE: I do appreciate the responses I have gotten to this query (well, maybe not the one questioning WHY I would want to use sugar cubes, but for all the others, I am grateful). Today I drove thither and yon, and I can say that Roland Demerara sugar cubes are still MIA in the greater Boston area! Several Market Baskets (including the Chelsea megastore) - nope. All the Armenian stores on the Mt. Auburn St. strip - one did have brown as well as white cubes (not Roland), but at $5/lb, I'm pretty sure this is not much less than one would pay at Whole Foods. I was getting a 2-lb box of the Roland for $2.50, twice the product for half the cost. I'm about to bite the bullet and order online -- I don't really need a year's supply, but if that's what it takes ...

              If someone knows WHICH OSJL actually has these (I found one box in the Waltham store about a year ago, never since), or knows for sure that their local S&S or Star has them, please let me know. After today, I'm not sure I'm willing to trek out to Lexington on a flier.

              7 Replies
              1. re: mezzodiva54
                owades Jan 21, 2014 03:38 PM

                Hong Kong Supermarket in Packard's Corner (formerly Super 88) has the half-kilo box of Roland Demerara rough-cut sugar cubes for $2.99.

                1. re: owades
                  catsmeow Jan 21, 2014 03:39 PM

                  Where is Packards Corner?

                  1. re: catsmeow
                    C. Hamster Jan 21, 2014 04:17 PM

                    Where Comm ave and Brighton ave split off. Just west of BU campus.

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      mezzodiva54 Jan 21, 2014 04:22 PM

                      Now THAT is the information I have been looking for!!!!! I have been meaning to hit the Super 88 in the South End and the one (I guess now no longer a Super 88) in Brighton; in my heart of hearts I was just hoping that they had gotten lost in the shuffle of the reorganization at the Kam Man in South Bay, and would re-appear at some point. THANK YOU for posting this!

                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        catsmeow Jan 21, 2014 04:56 PM

                        I never realized that was the name. Thanks.

                        1. re: catsmeow
                          owades Jan 21, 2014 09:31 PM

                          Packard's Corner was part of the Automobile Row in Boston, starting in the early 20th century, and it was indeed the home of a Packard dealership—but the name came from a horse stable that began in 1885. There's a fascinating article on the history of this area at http://www.bu.edu/today/2011/a-trip-d...

                          1. re: owades
                            catsmeow Jan 21, 2014 10:48 PM

                            Interesting....I remember my parents bought a car at Commonwealth Chevrolet that was at that intersection.

                2. opinionatedchef Dec 19, 2013 10:52 PM

                  54, Is there something about cubes that you like better than using loose sugar? just curious. have never known anyone who used cubes.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    Jenny Ondioline Dec 20, 2013 01:02 AM

                    We exclusively use sugar cubes in our tea, partially to avoid accidentally over-sweetening our tea, partially because sugar in sugar bowls tends to get clumpy in humid weather, and mostly because sugar cubes (particularly wrapped sugar cubes) are awesome and one deserves more awesome things in one's life.

                  2. opinionatedchef Dec 16, 2013 08:57 PM

                    i know this is not what you asked, but fyi, TrJ sells loose demerara in small bags. MY love puts it in his coffee and tea and i grind it for cookies.

                    1. MichaelB Dec 16, 2013 06:31 PM

                      I've seen them, very intermittently, at Ocean State Job Lot stores.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MichaelB
                        kobuta Dec 18, 2013 08:47 PM

                        Was my suggestion too. Hit up an OSJL with a decent food section. I don't use the cubes which means I see them all the time at my local branch.

                        1. re: kobuta
                          mezzodiva54 Dec 19, 2013 07:50 AM

                          Kobuta, which is your "local branch"? I do make a cursory check every time I visit an OSJL because I did find them there once, but I have never seen them again. I tend to shop the Everett and Waltham stores the most, although I have occasionally hit the W. Roxbury store when I'm in the Dedham area. To the person who suggested the Chelsea Market Basket, I do shop there fairly regularly and will make a note to check there; also the markets in Watertwon. Will post back with my findings.

                          1. re: mezzodiva54
                            Allstonian Dec 19, 2013 08:10 AM

                            If you're checking the Chelsea Market Basket, look in the international sections, especially the aisle with Russian/Bosnian specialty items.

                            1. re: mezzodiva54
                              kobuta Jan 13, 2014 01:52 PM

                              Sorry, just saw this - the North Quincy Ocean State Job Lot that is off Newport Ave.

                        2. Chris VR Dec 16, 2013 11:55 AM

                          I just happened across these in a conventional grocery store recently, on an endcap with holiday foods.... I can't remember which (I've been into Shaw's, Stop & Shop and Market Basket) but if I see them again, I'll post.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Chris VR
                            Chris VR Dec 19, 2013 05:49 PM

                            By process of elimination, I'm fairly sure it was the Stop & Shop in Lexington where I saw these. Might be worth a call.

                          2. Allstonian Dec 16, 2013 11:41 AM

                            I've seen the Roland demerara cubes at Russo's.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Allstonian
                              bear Dec 17, 2013 03:12 AM

                              I happened to be at Russo's yesterday so I checked and they didn't have the Roland cubes They had brown cubes that looked like demerara, but the ingredients were cane sugar and caramelized cane sugars so I'm not sure it's actually demerara. La Perruche brand, 8.8 oz. for $4.98.

                              1. re: bear
                                Allstonian Dec 17, 2013 08:54 AM

                                Thanks for the correction - as soon as you said it was La Perruche I knew I'd misremembered.

                                Another place to look, though I can't confirm that they definitely have them, would be the Russian grocers in Newton/Brookline/Allston. I know that I've seen and bought white sugar cubes at Bazaar in Allston, but I don't recall whether they have demerara as well. (For that matter, Market Basket, especially the one in Chelsea, might be one more place to look.)

                            2. j
                              Jenny Ondioline Dec 16, 2013 11:38 AM

                              Check the Armenian markets in Watertown, which carry a wide variety of sugar cubes.

                              Show Hidden Posts