Sugar Cane


8th August 2007 For the last two days many Islanders have been harvesting sugar cane to produce molasses. This is an annual event around this time of the year.

Once the sugar cane is harvested, the cane is taken to the sugar cane mill where the cane is crushed and the juice collected in plastic tubs. The juice is then poured into a large pan and boiled for about 90 minutes over an open fire. Between three and six tubs of cane juice are boiled at one time. 

Producing molasses to the right consistency takes great skill. A minute boiling too soon and the molasses could ferment. A minute boiling too long and the molasses could turn to sugar. 

A popular treat during the boiling of sugar cane juice is what is known as "arrowroot". The arrowroot is made from arrowroot powder, coconut milk and half-boiled sugar cane juice, mixed in a bowl to produce a thick, runny slop. It is served on a "plun boat" (the sliced up stem of a banana tree) and is popular with the children...and big kids too!

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