Why Cane Sugar is Better than Beet Sugar

Not all sugars are created equal.

Lots of us have been brought up thinking that all sugars are—well—pretty much the same, and that the kind of sugar we use won’t make much difference. Even today, most people don’t know that some grocery stores carry two different kinds of sugar: cane sugar and beet sugar. Pure Cane Sugar, the kind C&H uses exclusively, is refined from sugarcane plants. The first cultivated sugar crop, sugarcane is grown above ground, nurtured in fresh tropical breezes under warm sunshine. Beet sugar, found in some store brands and in other makers that often don’t specify the source, is extracted from beets grown underground as a root crop.

How cane sugar is different.

Cane sugar contains trace minerals that are different from those in beet sugar, and it’s these minerals that many experts say make cane sugar preferable to use. As professional bakers have long noticed, cane sugar has a low melting—point, absorbs fewer extraneous and undesirable odors, blends easily and is less likely to foam up. And that can be very important when you’re caramelizing a syrup, making a delicate glaze, baking a delicious meringue, or simmering your family’s favorite jam recipe.

Some brown sugars aren’t brown
all the way through.

What beet sugar makers call "brown sugar" starts out as white sugar crystals which are then sprayed with a brown coating. Often the center of the crystal remains white and the brown molasses coating can be rubbed off in your hands. Not exactly what you want when you go to the effort of baking something fresh from scratch.

On the other hand, C&H Pure Cane Brown Sugar is naturally brown through and through. Brown cane sugar is a natural combination of sugar and molasses, refined without any added colorings, flavorings or coatings. Formed using the traditional method of crystallization, each C&H brown sugar crystal is brown all the way through. C&H brown sugar contains its own natural molasses that impart a rich, sweet, natural flavor and a consistent quality you can rely on even when it melts.

Take the advice of the experts —
use pure cane.

Marion Cunningham, author of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and a leading baking expert, says that beet sugar can cause problems with many recipes. "It matters in recipes for baked goods like angel food cake. It just isn’t right with beet sugar." And confectioner Joseph Schmidt, renown for his chocolate truffles and other candy, declares "I always order C&H Cane Sugar… It seems to be cleaner."

The San Francisco Chronicle conducted a blind taste test, testing cane sugar vs. beet and consistently found the foods made with cane sugar were preferable.

If it doesn’t say "Pure Cane Sugar,"
it’s probably not.

Labeling law doesn’t require a cane or beet designation and many refiners avoid labeling their products. If it doesn’t say "Pure Cane Sugar," it’s probably not. To be sure you get pure cane sugar, just buy any C&H branded Sugar. C&H has always been (and will always be) 100% pure cane sugar. And it says so on every package.