Caldo De Cana! Nothing screams Brazil more time, but I know it’s very popular in other countries as well!
As you can see from this page, it’s no secret that Brazilians have a VERY sweet tooth. Fruit juices, even those from sweet fruits, are normally treated with MORE sugar; desserts can be achingly sweet, coffee is invariably SWEET, and I’ve even seen kids plopping a tablespoonful or two of sugar into a glass of milk before drinking it. YES!!! it’s insane, I agree but it’s the reason why I have such a desire to “healthify” everything!
Considering Brazil’s long and complicated history of producing sugar from sugar cane, it’s really no surprise, and there are more natural ways to consume it!
Luckily we have Sugar Cane! This one is growing at my family farm in Buriti, Minas Gerais. If you peel sugar cane itself, then run the cane through a pressing machine it yields a greenish-yellow juice called caldo de cana(cane broth) or garapa: yes, this liquid you see here!
This same pressing process, on an industrial scale, is the starting point for refining every type of sugar cane product, from molasses, through rum and cachaça (popular alcoholic beverage on Brazil aka Brazilian rum to make the very popular caipirinhas), to brown sugar and on to the highly refined white sugars.
On a much more artisanal scale thousands of small hand-cranked or electric presses can be found on streets, beaches, local markets and fairs all over Brazil where the grinding out the juice satisfies the national addiction for sugar and is actually GOOD for you. Tastes of pure sugar cane and has the natural sweetness to satisfy our sweet tooth!
I love it!