I recently posted an article about Gelier Zucker, a type of sugar used for making jams, jellies, and marmalades. Do read it if you have seen this product in the supermarket and wondered about its uses.
Today, I am writing about the different types of sugars available in supermarkets in Germany.
In Germany, these are the most common types of sugars available.
1. Raffinade Zucker :
This translates to refined sugar and the most commonly used sugar. In Germany, sugar is most commonly made from the juice of Zuckerrube (Sugar beet), a vegetable that grows underground and looks like a radish. Raffinade Zucker is refined sugar made from sugar beets.
This sugar can be used for tea, coffee, and desserts.
This translates to powdered sugar. It is refined sugar that has been ground to a fine powder. Some manufacturers add cornstarch to make it icing sugar, which is most commonly used in meringue, and marzipan preparations ( because it doesn’t form clumps). Look for the word Speisestärke (Cornstarch) in the ingredients to identify whether it is just sugar or a mix of sugar and cornstarch.
This translates to sugar cubes. This is also refined sugar, but instead of being in granulated form, it has been pressed into the shape of cubes. In this, we also get a product called Glück Zucker. This is again the same thing, pressed into different shapes. It is used for adding to hot drinks like tea or coffee.
This is also refined sugar but in crystal form. It is ideal for decorating cakes, cookies, etc.
This is candied sugar. This is called ‘Misri’ in Hindi. This unrefined sugar is commonly used for making gingerbread and other baked items. It is also added to teas and other hot drinks. It comes in white and brown colors ( the brown color is sometimes obtained by adding caramelized sugar or brown color). Always check the ingredients before buying.
This is refined sugar which contains caramel or browning products. It has a different aroma and is used in making cakes, gingerbread, etc. It can also be used as a sweetener for tea/coffee.
7. Rohr Zucker
This is sugar made from sugar cane. The process of extracting the sugar is the same as that for Rübenzucker. Just that the raw materials are different. This is the sugar we commonly get in India.
In this category, you also get Vollrohrzucker, which is unrefined brown sugar. In terms of calories and nutrition, it is the same as refined sugar.
Since Germany produces sugar beets, the sugar made with them is cheaper than cane sugar.
8. Zucker Sticks:
This is refined sugar in small packs, commonly seen in cafes.
9. Demerara Zucker
The name Demerara comes from a place by the same name in Guyana, where the method of making this sugar was invented. This sugar is lightly processed (unlike white sugar) and has bigger crystals that are brown. This can be used as a sweetener for drinks or desserts.
10. Süßstoff /Zuckerersatz
These are artificial sweeteners that are synthetically produced or made using natural substitutes. They come in both tablet and liquid form.
In addition, you can also find products like Vanillin Zucker/Bourbon Vanille Zucker, which is sugar + Vanilla extract. These are used in desserts where you intend to add vanilla and Sugar.
Now that we have understood the different sugars available in the market, we need to understand which sugar we should buy?
Which sugar should we buy?
If you have any specific need, e.g., baking, or decorating, pick the product based on your need. But refined sugar works fine if you need it for everyday use, such as making tea/coffee. Also, from the perspective of reducing the carbon footprint, buying Rübenzucker/Raffinade Zucker makes sense as its raw material, i.e., sugar beet, is grown in Germany and hence is more local than cane sugar. And because it is local, the price is also low compared to other sugars in the market.
I have noticed that brown sugar is always priced higher in shops than white sugar. Since many people think that everything brown is better than white; for example, brown bread is considered better than white bread, brown sugar is said to be better for our health than white sugar, brown eggs are thought of as more nutritious than white eggs, and so on, companies have priced these ‘brown’ products higher than their white counterparts. People are willing to pay more for them because they feel that they are getting a product of better quality and value.
In reality, the nutrition and calories provided are just the same. The catch is in consuming controlled quantities because high sugar (whatever type it may be) is not good for health.
To read about other products in the German Supermarket, click here.