Piloncillo or “chancaca” comes from the Nahuatl chiancaca, which means “brown sugar”. It is prepared from the undistilled juice of sugar cane.

In 1493, at the time of the conquest of America by the Spaniards, during the culinary miscegenation, the cultivation of sugar cane was introduced. Along with this new crop came sugar mills, milling and its different products. In that period it was the main source of sweetener for peasants and inhabitants of rural areas.

How is piloncillo made?

The traditional piloncillo manufacturing process can vary according to the area and customs. In general, the following steps are performed: The sugar cane is collected and squeezed to obtain the juice (trapiches). The leftover bagasse is allowed to dry and is used to fuel the oven. The cane juice is heated in the oven to its boiling point. It is transferred to a mixer that does not stop turning until the sweet is thick. When it is thick, it is emptied into cone-shaped wooden molds, as piloncillo is commonly known. Once cold, it is unmolded and packed for distribution. The clarity of piloncillo is related to quality; that is, the greater the clarity and sweetness, the better the product.

Can you imagine it?

Currently, an average of between 10 and 12 tons of sugar cane are needed to obtain a piloncillo, depending on the humidity and concentration of sugars.

It is important to remember that it is a natural sweetener with no added chemicals.

Consume it!

Sweetened With Piloncillo That’s Good For You

Piloncillo is unrefined whole cane sugar, mainly found in Mexico. It has a similar taste and looks like brown sugar, but it’s not the same thing. Unlike white sugar, piloncillo is not refined or bleached, so it’s more natural and doesn’t come with nasty side effects. But what’s really great is the large amounts of nutrients it can provide. It’s rich in essential minerals, vitamins, and potassium. Here some key benefits:

  • It is a natural food, does not contain chemicals or preservatives
  • Contains vitamins B1, B2 and B6 that help maintain a healthy immune system and restore tissues
  • Contains vitamin C, which protects the body from oxidation
  • Sources of minerals such as copper, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron that help you regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of suffering from anemia and osteoporosis, in addition to keeping your bones and teeth healthy.
  • It is an excellent nutritious source of energy and it is also delicious.
  • It is not the same as muscovado sugar, since piloncillo contains more nutrients and has a unique flavor

Why Piloncillo is better than refined sugar?

Piloncillo, a type of unrefined cane sugar commonly used in Latin American cuisine, offers some potential advantages over refined sugar. Here are a few reasons why some people prefer piloncillo:

  1. Natural and minimally processed: Piloncillo is made by evaporating sugarcane juice, which undergoes minimal processing. Unlike refined sugar, it retains some of the natural molasses content and nutrients found in sugarcane.
  2. Rich flavor: Piloncillo has a distinctive flavor profile characterized by its deep, caramel-like taste with hints of molasses. This flavor can add depth and complexity to various dishes and beverages, enhancing their overall taste.
  3. Nutrient content: While the nutrient content of piloncillo varies depending on the specific product and processing, it generally contains trace amounts of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Refined sugar, on the other hand, has undergone extensive processing, resulting in the loss of these natural nutrients.
  4. Lower glycemic index: Piloncillo has a lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar, which means it causes a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This slower absorption may be beneficial for individuals seeking to manage their blood sugar levels.
  5. Cultural significance: Piloncillo is deeply rooted in Latin American culinary traditions and is often used in traditional recipes. Its use can provide an authentic flavor and connect individuals to their cultural heritage.

However, it’s important to note that piloncillo, like any sugar, should be consumed in moderation. While it may offer some potential advantages, it still contributes to the overall sugar intake and should be considered as part of a balanced diet.