Monday, July 28, 2008

Fresh Sugar Cane

I've been in Washington DC for the past several days now, visiting my brother and some friends I made in Mexico, who are from here, as well. Last night a few of us went out to my brother's favorite bar and steak house, the Carlyle. After eating crab and shrimp appetizers we were each served large plates of our meat of choice and sides of veggies. I had a large seared ahi tuna salad that was to die for. For dessert, everyone ordered and shared a vanilla cookie bread pudding that released a river of caramel from the center when cut into. I patiently passed the dish back and forth and noticed how perfectly the edges of the pudding were cooked, watching the pretty swirls of raspberry and vanilla cream disappear from underneath the bread pudding. It looked like the "bread" was made with crushed vanilla cookies. It looked so good and came a la mode. I could see the ground vanilla beans in the ice cream and it almost sent me over the edge. Almost around the time they had finished off the dessert, I noticed a couple of sticks sitting in a glass of water just across the bar from where we were perched. The sticks were fibrous and cream colored, with hard-looking green backs. Our friend had one in her mixed drink and we realized it was sugar cane! As soon as I had that realization, I snatched the cane out of her drink and began sucking on the top portion it, where her drink hadn't touched. It was incredible. I couldn't help but chew the fibers and suck out as much of the plant's juices as I possibly could. It was so sweet and tasted just like sugar in my mouth! But of course the sugar cane is far different from it's product, sugar. It has many fibers, is very chewy, and eventually you are just chewing on the stick after getting out all of the sweetness from its pulp. As we were leaving the Carlyle, I was handed another fresh stick of sugar cane which I have waiting for me in my brother's refrigerator. What an excellent treat after passing up on margaritas, mixed drinks, and dessert!

I recommend trying it. It was a refreshing version of sweetness that was entirely unprocessed. I am going to look for it back home at a couple of large asian markets. Let me know if you find a good source to purchase this from..


Erin said...

Hi there,
This is a great blog and very inspiring. Does it get easier as your body goes longer without sugar? I recently tried to go a week without refined sugar (but cracked and had jam on my toast the second day). I'll try again and see if I can hold out longer - knowing that you have been keeping it up for months! I also wonder if honey is OK. I do love honey. :)

My Year Without said...

Going without sugar gets MUCH easier the longer you go. I am in my 8th month of no sugar, and it is hardly an issue. I still get the occasional sweet tooth attack, but I believe that it is more psychological than anything else. Like if I'm out to dinner with friends and everyone orders dessert. That's when I want dessert, too! But realistically, by then I'm usually too full and I don't even crave it. I just want to join in the festivities.

It is easier than you might think to go without sugar. The key is to find products you like (jam, in your case) and find a similar flavored jam that doesn't contain sugar. There are a lot of products out there that can be substitutes for your favorites. A lot of health food stores cater to all sorts of diets, and they are my favorite places to get sugar free foods of all kinds. Then, it doesn't feel so much like you are going without sugar. I know you can go another week without sugar, even a month!

Sweet is okay, like honey because it is natural, my goal was/is to go without white refined sugar and corn syrups.

Let me know how you do the next time you go without sugar. I'd love to hear!