About Awa Wasanbon Sugar
(Special from Okada’s Sugar Refinery)
The freshly produced wasanbon sugar directly packaged into a bag and shipped as raw material.
Like the usual sugar, you can add it to coffee or tea, to use it for boiled dishes, for soba or sushi rice, making pastries such as sponge cake or castella, or using it for any other dishes.
You can also enjoy it along with grapefruit and strawberry.
Also, if you use it for dishes like oshiruko (sweet red bean soup), omelette, sukiyaki, and such, the taste will get stronger.
It also matches perfectly with coffee and tea.
Make sure you try it someday!
The Kawashimaya staffs tasted this sugar.
Wasanbon is a sugar with fluffy texture and soft colour.
You should try putting it in your mouth first.
It melts quickly in the mouth and you can taste the elegant sweetness spreads into your mouth.
I am surprised by its delicious taste.
I ate too much of it even though I planned to use it for making sweets. It's a dish that you would like to taste once in a lifetime.
About Wasanbon Sugar
Wasanbon sugar is a traditional goods cultivated at Tokushima and Kagawa Prefecture, and is made from bamboo sugarcane (also known as small millet).
It is one of the few domestic sugars being made without using much machinery.
Awa wasanbon sugar is called so because it’s produced at ‘country of awa’ which is part of Tokushima Prefecture. It’s mainly made in the northern side of Itano District, Tokushima Prefecture and Kamiita Town, in the southern slope of Sanuki Mountains.
It is said that the bamboo sugarcane has been settled in this region for over two hundred years.
Before the war, many domestic sugars were made, but when inexpensive refined sugar was introduced after outbreak of war has been imported, the domestic sugars manufacturers got declined.
Now, it is mainly used as sugar for Japanese confectionery.
Raw Material of Wasanbon Sugar: Bamboo Sugarcane
One of the reasons that Wasanbon sugar is different from common sugar is its raw material difference.
Raw materials of Wasanbon sugar are white sugar or granulated sugar you are using at home, as well as the sugarcane.
It's quite the same if you say it sugarcane, but it's used in wasanbon sugar, so it's quite a different variety of sugarcane.
It is quite different from sugarcane that cultivated in Taiwan, Cuba, and Okinawa.
For example, it is characterized by its relatively low height and considerably thin diameter.
At the growth stage, the height is only about 2m with the thickness only around one's adult index finger.
It is obviously disadvantageous considering the yield per unit area, because it's not either tall or thick. But the taste become the reason why this sugarcane is still cultivated.
The method of cultivating this sugarcane "bamboo sugar" is also quite different from that of sugarcane in the south.
Grown sugar cane is harvested with root every harvest period in December. There is a small sprout at the node of sugarcane, we leave some of the harvested part, and in April, we cut the part of the section into an appropriate length and plant it.
The approximate annual work of the sugarcane farmers is as follows:
- · In early April, dig the place for planting.
- · In early April, starts planting.
- · Weeding and watering several times.
- · In mid-November, bury the seeds for next year.
- · In late November to December, harvesting.
- · In December, sugar refinery received the sugarcane.
Manufacturing Process of Wasanbon
1. In December, the sugarcane will get squeezed.
Sugarcane that was harvested and carried to sugar factory is squeezed by machine. We call the place to squeeze the sugarcane as "shimeba".
2. "Kamaba" is the process of boil down the juice that was squeezed from the sugarcane.
Kamaba is divided into several stages, the first is to remove the astringent taste of the sugarcane juice by boiling it.
3. Rinsing Process.
The sugarcane juice that extracted in the kettle is light-brown coloured liquid. Before we boil the juice, we will do the clearing process first.
4. Cook with nakagama (inner kettle), and agekama (raising kettle) and cool it down.
The clear sugarcane juice will continue to be boiled with the inner kettle and the raising kettle. Nakagama is simply a boiling kettle, and agekama is a raising kettle or finishing kettle. Check the boiled up sugarcane in the kettle, and when it looks like it’s a ‘good rise’, it will be transferred to the next cooling kettle and we will start the cooling process.
5. Cooling kettle, Cooling process and Crystallization.
As we stir it while cooling it in the cooling kettle, it will gradually lose its thickness, but it still has the heat. In order to make it cooler, we will transfer it into a pot ceramic called ‘cooling turtle’, leave it cool there and crystallize it.
6. First step of molasses detachment.
After the white sugar is made, we will let it be at least for 1 week or more, and the next step is ‘sharpening’ process. Sharpening process is the unique purification process of Wasanbon sugar.
7. Sharpening process, repeat the molasses detachment.
After the first process of sharpening, the sugar will be somewhat whiter, and we will take it out from the ‘push tank’ the next day.
8. Pulverization (crushing) and Drying.
The Wasanbon sugar that have finished the sharpening process is sifted and will be drying in the very same day. It’s very dangerous to leave the wet Wasanbon sugar, because when the temperature is high, due to the molasses inside the sugar, the fermentation odors can be smelly. Depends on the circumstance, the molds may also get stick.
Message from the Manufacturer
The making of wasanbon sugar in the country of Awa started in the 5th year of Anei Era, it's almost two hundred years ago.
The histrory lies with the great effort of life and death by Maruyama Tokuya,
a man who wishes for the happiness of his home, Kamiita Town.
With the effort of Hachisukashi clan, the name of Awa Wasanbon spreading all over Japan.
The Okada Sugar Refinery has keeping the handmade tradition since then, still producing the natural taste by the recipe of two hundred years ago.
Awa wasanbon sugar is a natural product that contains the warmth of nature, grace, and deliciousness from our fingertips.
You have to try its wonderful taste someday!
(Awa Wasanbon Sugar)
||Avoid any moisture,
Please save at room temperature
||Okada Genkyou Limited Company