“KITHUL JAGGERY” The Tail of Sri Lankan Sweetener

Made in Earth | Kithul jaggery

For most parts of the world “Sweet” is literally “sugar made from sugarcane sap or syrup”. But what if there is a substitute equal in taste or even better and healthier? That’s right! You may wonder if there is anything as such but yes, there is… It’s called “Kithul Jaggery”!

Jaggery is an ancient sweetener that is found around Sri Lanka, India and a few other countries in various forms. It’s made from the sap of various types of palm trees. The end product sometimes is hard to the touch but it simply melts and dissolves in your mouth. It tantalizes your taste buds with quite a range of flavors and is a great alternative to refined or even unrefined sugar. It’s also used in a host of dishes and adds a sweet “zing” to foods that require sweetening.

For most parts of the world “Sweet” is literally “sugar made from sugarcane sap or syrup”. But what if there is a substitute equal in taste or even better and healthier? That’s right! You may wonder if there is anything as such but yes, there is… It’s called “Kithul Jaggery”!

Jaggery is an ancient sweetener that is found around Sri Lanka, India and a few other countries in various forms. It’s made from the sap of various types of palm trees. The end product sometimes is hard to the touch but it simply melts and dissolves in your mouth. It tantalizes your taste buds with quite a range of flavors and is a great alternative to refined or even unrefined sugar. It’s also used in a host of dishes and adds a sweet “zing” to foods that require sweetening.

The term jaggery is generally understood in the country to refer to palm syrup-based jaggery rather than sugarcane jaggery. In Sri Lanka, the sap extracts from Kithul (Caryota urens) Palm or Fish Tail Palm trees are widely used for jaggery production as an ancient sweetener even in modern times.

But the Sri Lankans also produce Jaggery from the sap of the Palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer) palm which is more prominent in the northern part of the country; this is referred to as Palmyra Jaggery or Thal-hakuru and Panang-karupatti in Tamil. Jaggery made from sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) sap is considered inferior to these types of palm syrup-based jaggery varieties, such as Kithul Treacle, Kithul jaggery and Kithul jaggery powder.

So, let’s take a journey to get a better sense of what it’s all about. The best Kithul Jaggery is usually made using the sap of the kithul (Caryota urens), or coconut (Cocos nucifera) palm trees. The respective names in Sinhalese are Kithul-Hakuru and Pol-Hakuru and the same in Tamil is Kithul-Karupatti and Thenang-Karupatti.

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