14 Jul Why Pearl Sugar?
What is Pearl Sugar?
Pearl sugar, also known as nib sugar, has been in existence since the 18thcentury. It is a product of white sugar (typically from Beet due to it’s European origins). It is very coarse, hard, opaque white, and does not melt at temperatures typically used for baking. Pearl sugar is used extensively in Scandinavian and other Northern European countries in baked goods such as pastries, cookies, cakes and buns. It is said to have originated in Liege, Belgium for use in waffles and remains the key ingredient in the liege waffle which is produced and sold throughout the world. Source Document: https://www.google.com/patents/WO2014008176A2?cl=en
Waffatopia only uses authentic, imported Belgian Pearl Sugar in our waffles to ensure the perfect sweetness for each handmade waffle. This Pearl Sugar is incorporated into every flavor we make. From the Cinnamon and Vanilla Waffle, to our Maple Bacon and Chocolate Stuffed Waffle and everything in between!
Pearl Sugar Imposters?
It’s also important to note that there are many “versions” of Pearl Sugar as well (some might call them imposters) ☺ . Different sizes and names (like “Swedish Pearl Sugar”) that you can find online have distinct differences to them. Swedish Pearl Sugar, although a less expensive alternative to Belgian Pearl Sugar, will typically remain a harder and smaller “pretzel salt” consistency in the waffle, limiting the caramelization across the surface. Waffatopia spares no expense to ensure our Pearl sugar is the traditional correct size used in Belgium for the proper semi-sweetness that makes this no-syrup required waffle so irresistible!
Cane Sugar vs. Beet Sugar
The pearl sugar Waffatopia adds to our Liege style waffles is made from Non-GMO pure beet sugar. The European Union is the world’s leading producer of Beet Sugar, used heavily in their brewing and baking industries. However, this only represents around 20% of the total sugar manufacturing globally. The other 80% is from Cane. (Source: http://www.imperialsugar.com/sugar-101/cane-sugar-vs-beet-sugar)
Cane sugar and Beet sugar are 99.95% chemically identical…the only difference being the fact that Canes and Beets are different plants grown in different environments. Pearl sugar is traditionally obtained from granulated sugar that has been subjected to humidification, compression, drying, and crushing and/or grinding. In addition, the traditional pearl sugar manufacturing process is complicated by the requirement that the sugar be compressed under high pressure. Next the sugar is sifted and the particles, known as “pearls,” are separated from the residue of sugar granules before being polished. Pearl sugar is distinguished by its high purity and is characterized by hardness optimally obtained by the cold pressing and or molding at high pressure followed by a very long drying process.
There are some Pearl sugars that have been coated with flavors and colors too, however Waffatopia does not use these products as they can typically be artificial colors/flavors which Waffatopia loves to avoid!
Belgian Pearl sugar is just one of those “cool” specialty ingredients that you just can’t find walking into your neighborhood grocery store. It’s what makes Waffatopia’s Liege waffle recipes shine like diamonds…or…well…pearls. ☺