What is Muscovado Sugar?

What is muscovado sugar?

Muscoado sugar is an unrefined sugar with strong flavor. Refined sugar products, like white and brown sugars, continue through much more processing after the crystallization stage is complete.

muscovado sugar

What is Muscovado Sugar?

The Characteristics of Muscovado Sugar

  • Muscovado is a type sugar that is moist with a strong molasses flavor. Technically, it is considered either a non-centrifugal cane sugar or a centrifuged, partially refined sugar depending upon which process was used to make the sugar. There is this confusion because different manufacturers use the term to describe their product of dark, molasses-rich sugar. Originally, the term described poorly refined sugar that retained too much molasses to be high quality sugar.

  • Since Muscovado sugar is less refined than white sugar, it is also slightly more difficult to work with because it is a coarser sugar that, because of the high moisture content, is sticky and a bit lumpy.

  • muscovado

  • The taste of muscovado sugar is stronger than brown sugars and more like molasses.
    More natural cane flavor is retained in this sugar because it is unrefined, meaning that it does not go through any chemical processing. The sugar cane juice is extracted, heated and crystalized – leaving a mixture of crystals and molasses (massecuite).

  • Muscovado sugar will taste sweet at first, but then leave a bittersweet aftertaste.
    This strong flavor is best mixed with other strong ingredients like ginger, coffee, chocolate and can give BBQ sauces a more stick to the ribs quality.

  • Muscovado sugar looks somewhat like brown sugar, but it is darker and moister due to a higher retention of molasses. Shown on the left is dark brown sugar in front of dark Muscovado sugar and to the right is light brown sugar in front of light Muscovado sugar.

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  • Moscovado is both harder to find and more expensive to purchase once found.
    This makes dark brown sugar a pretty acceptable substitute for muscovado. When used in baked goods, it is difficult to tell whether brown sugar or muscovado was used in the recipe.

  • It is slightly healthier and a tad more nutritional than refined sugars because of the natural molasses retention.
    It is therefore often compared to honey, rather than sugar, as far as the mineral content.

  • Currently, muscovado sugars are only produced in Mauritius and the Philippines. Muscovado from Mauritius (off the coast of Africa) is produced by centrifuged massecuite left to drain naturally of its molasses, whereas sugars from the Philippines may have been produced in one of three different ways. Thus, these less refined sugars can vary from one country to the other and even from one batch to another.

  • The shelf life of muscovado sugar is shorter than refined white sugars. Storage temperature is the largest factor in the shelf life of muscovado sugar. Muscovado, like all other sugars, are best stored in an airtight container left in a cool dark place. The hotter the storage facility, because of the moistness of this particular sugar, the shorter the shelf life. If stored in temperatures above 65°F, shelf life can dwindle to as low as 1 year. If kept below 65°F, this sugar should remain in great shape for at least 2 years.
  • What is Muscovado Sugar

    Additional Information

    To find the shelf life of muscovado, see our sugar page.

    To find a substitute for muscovado, see our brown sugar substitute page.

    See our types of brown sugar post for information on different types of brown sugars.

    To find out more about Turbinado, another specialty sugar, see our turbinado post.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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