The Taste of Traditional Sweetener – In Indonesia, granulated arenga palm sugar is called gula semut aren ( gula mean : sugar, semut mean : ant). According to old story it is because they shaped like a nest of ants on the ground which pulverized and loose. Meanwhile Aren is refers to the native palm tree, Arenga pinnata.
Granulated arenga palm sugar, or gula semut aren, is a traditional sweetener that has been used in Indonesia for centuries. It is made from the sap of the native palm tree, Arenga pinnata, which is commonly found in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia
Not only in cooking yet palm sugar is also use in the healthcare industry. People in some villages have never use sugar cane even to sweeten coffee or tea. They believe that the palm sugar is much healthier and tastier than any other sugar.
The Taste of Traditional Gula Semut
If you ever wondered what the taste of this Indonesian heritage of sweetener, the main are nice and soft sweet. Then follows a caramel flavor, similar to the natural molasses yet lighter. This flavor comes from fresh palm juice is processed by evaporation of their water content by heating in a cauldron over a wood-fired stove.
Also, the taste of traditional sweetener gula semut can be described as rich, caramel-like, with a slightly smoky flavor. It has a deep sweetness that is more complex than regular granulated sugar. The texture is also different from regular sugar, with a slightly sticky and crumbly texture due to the way it is made.
Unlike mold palm sugar, the most popular form, these granulated Arenga palm sugar can be used for various purposes directly. It is very easy. Take a spoon and they will melt instantly in a cup of coffee or glass of milk. Weighed them as needed by your receipt and they are ready for cookies or cakes.
Making Gula Semut
The process of making gula semut aren involves tapping the palm tree to collect its sap. The sap is then boiled to reduce the water content, resulting in a thick syrup. This syrup is then poured into bamboo tubes or other molds to cool and solidify. Once it has hardened, it is broken up into granules, giving it its characteristic ant-like appearance.
Gula semut aren has a rich, caramel-like flavor and is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine as a sweetener for desserts and beverages. It is also used in savory dishes, such as marinades and sauces, to add depth of flavor.
In addition to its taste, gula semut aren also has a number of health benefits. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and iron. It also has a low glycemic index, meaning it is absorbed more slowly by the body and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Gula semut aren is a beloved traditional sweetener in Indonesia, prized for its unique flavor and health benefits.