‘brown sugar, how come you taste so good…’

oh no! the day that i have dreaded for so long has finally come. i’ve run out of my precious store of brown sugar. sniff. i used the last of it in a sticky date pudding on sunday. but i didn’t have enough for the toffee sauce, so i was forced to use totally inferior white castor sugar. the resulting sauce was a pale, insipid imitation of the glossy brown glory of the real thing. oh, the pain!

let me explain. brown sugar as i know and love isn’t available here in switzerland. can you believe it???? the soft brown stuff which melts so wonderfully on porridge and is so great in banana cake and sticky date pudding and muffins and virtually any other darkly flavoured baked goods. i don’t know how the swiss have survived without such a crucial ingredient, but they have. they just don’t know what they are missing out on.

yes, they have raw brown sugar, but it’s granulated, not a soft, moist brown mass of molasses-y sweetness. i have looked and looked and looked. and it is nowhere to be found. previously i have relied on the goodwill of visiting lovely friends to bring me sweet brown packages, but it seems silly to be posting/trekking brown sugar across continents. so, i need to find another source. maybe it’s available in germany. i shall make a shopping trip across the broder a priority. i need my brown sugar!!!

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17 thoughts on “‘brown sugar, how come you taste so good…’

  1. Hi!
    I too have lived without brown sugar for years and years but lately have been able to buy it here in Germany. It’s produced by Südzucker so it should be available all over Germany and who knows, maybe soon in Switzerland. (I think it’s the real stuff. It’s been so long since I had any I’m not 100% sure.)
    Sharon

  2. How odd not having brown sugar. I do feel for you. I love my porridge with brown sugar in the morning. Oscar has his with golden syrup, but I bet you can’t get that either?
    I’m surprised you can get brown sugar by mail order.

  3. Oh my god … me too! I am totally with you on the lack of brown sugar in switzerland grief!
    I was just last night bemoaning to friends while we were gobbling up a desert I had made (self saucing choc pud with raspberries & blackberries … made of course with brown sugar) that the kilo of authentic bundaberg goodness I had brought in my suitcase back from oz at christmas had to last me til the next trip back, cause I have run out of anticipated visiters from the more civilised brown sugar eating countries who can do my sugar running for me.
    Anyway, one swissy friend claims that she has previously accidently purchased our nice mushy type brown sugar at coop when she was actually looking for the granulated stuff … i expressed sincere doubt (don’t think i haven’t searched coop, migros and every epicerie en Geneva) but she insists and is planning to give me her accidental purchase as proof (and also so i can check out exactly what they call it and what it looks like here). Sooo, if the so called evidence materialises I shall pass on all information to you. I have also heard rumours that it is available at the American Shop that they have here in Geneva … if I ever discover the verity of that rumour I would be happy to post you supplies whenever you need them!
    (BTW, I love your blogs, i’ve been stalking in the non commenting shadows for ages, but who would have thought that my passion for brown sugar would be what brought me out!)

  4. sharon, i will definitely check out südzucker immediately! thanks for the tip.
    nope, lucinda, we can’t get golden syrup here, either, sniff. although i did see it once in an english shop in chur. they do have a nice substitute though, birnendicksaft(pear syrup). it’s nowhere near as dark or caramelly, it’s lighter and sweeter, but it is am easily available substitute. in winter you can buy it from the farm that makes it. in fcat, our local farm is selling it right now. you can buy it in 1kg jars, or even more! i just checked out a place which sells brown sugar online from the uk, and the sugar itself is very cheap, just one or two pounds, but the shipping is the killer! £22 for p&p (about 50 francs)!!! absolutely a last resort.
    claire: i’d be definitely keen on hearing back re. yr friend’s accidental purchase, and also if the american shop has any. i’d love to work something out re. postage etc. that would be great!!! how are you enjoying geneva?

  5. I found a web site that suggested mixing Zuckerrüben sirup with normal white sugar as a replacement for brown sugar. I think it comes quite close. We found Zuckerrüben sirup here in bern, without too much problem.

  6. james, i’ve heard of that solution, too. happily i’ve just gotten a brown sugar package, so i won’t need to resort to that for a while,but if i get desperate again i will definitely give it a try.

  7. You can buy Golden Syrup in Switzerland!
    I have tins of it as reserve for those chilly mornings when only porride will do. I live in Villars sur ollon and no less than two small stores in my town sell this thick syrup delight!
    Not only that but real English bread, sausages, bacon and old fasioned fish and chips can be found at Jim’s situated just accross the boarder in St Genis. Brown sugar lovers and those in need of Cadbury’s chocolate and self-raising flour, look no further!

  8. DEAR BROWN SUGAR LOVERS
    I know this blog is old but oh my! I’m English and my dear departed Mom used to use “soft” brown sugar, just as you describe, to make mouthwatering toffee. I now live in Queensland, the sugar capital of Australia, and have just started to try to make her toffee, one of my projects since retiring from teaching (and looking for things to do). Lucky me, I can get it anywhere ’round here. REAL soft brown sugar !
    Like yourself I find toffees and caramels totally tasteless without it. I finally produced a perfect batch of my Mom’s type toffee this evening, the traditional way and no sugar thermometer in sight.
    I,ve wrapped the bars in plain greaseproof paper like she used to and I’m going to take them to the craft market on Sunday to see how other people like it, hopefully before I have eaten it all myself!!
    Delicious!!
    If I can help any of you obtain a bag or two, the postage will be high but it might be worth it, I wouldn’t try to make any profit out of it. Omly difficulty will be if YOUR country’s customs will allow packages of it through. They might have food regulations.
    Regards, Janet

  9. I come from the States and just about every American recipe I have calls for soft brown sugar. But I’ve been living in Germany now for about 15 years and have yet to find it here. I’ve even gone into specialty shops and tried to order it, but to no avail. No one can figure out what I’m talking about when I try to describe it. I’ll write a letter to Südzucker and hope they don’t send me information about “Brauner Kandis” or “Vollrohr Zucker”, which is just not the same. My children have grown up eating maple syrup on their oatmeal and cream of wheat. And I have sweet potatoes in the oven at the moment with Brauner Kandis trying to melt on top of them. Did anyone try the Südzucker lead with any success? I think it the States the company that used to supply it was G and H. But no one has heard of them here.

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