Sweet Sorghum

Today we have a fall harvest celebration of sorts in this area. Local farmers make anything from apple cider to ground flour and sorghum. Making Sorghum is a fascinating process and I thought I would share a few photos from today. The variety grown this year was Dale from Kentucky and you can read more about that variety here http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/agr/agr122/agr122.htm.

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beautiful, i grew dale last year and when properly dryed the seeds can be popped like popcorn on the stovetop in hot oil

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I haven’t had sorghum syrup since I was a child…and that’s a while back. Memories!!

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I love sorghum! One of the best desserts I have had was a hot sorghum sundae. The sorghum syrup was heated up before being poured over the ice cream so that it got thick and chewy like hot fudge. It was at a restaurant when I was a kid and no one thought I’d like it.

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Really rare tractor, LP and tricycle, Massey?
My grandparents always ate sorghum because it was cheaper than honey or maple. Nothing better than sorghum and Gramma’s hot, fresh buttered, biscuit.

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My mom was accustomed to sorghum syrup…she grew up in west Texas. The main syrup we had in east Texas was ribbon cane syrup made from sugar cane. I still love that too!

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Interesting. I have never had sweet sorghum. Does its cane taste like sugar cane that can be eaten fresh?

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It is very strong. I don’t care for it at all. It’s like super thick intense pancake syrup. However it would be cool to make it.

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There is a bitter and grassy taste in it, very strong flavored. Depends on how they boil the juice down, a long boil and it gets stronger and more bitter. It is an acquired taste.:slight_smile:

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Since it is a sweetener I always ate I can’t taste anything bad about it. Molasses on the other hand is made from the same sorghum plant but can be a little more bitter. It is how they process it.

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I thought molasses was from sugar cane? Or is there sorghum syrup and sorghum molasses? And molasses molasses?
I think sorghum tastes like a sharper, more acidic light molasses, but sounds like there’s a lot of variation.

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Technically speaking your correct. Molasses is for us the stuff skimmed off top etc. but technically it’s not. This article says it perfect http://www.farmflavor.com/at-home/seasonal-foods/what-is-sorghum/
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Jessy Yancey
October 1, 2013 at 11:14 am
Hi Ramona,

My understanding is that sorghum cane produces sorghum syrup, which is also known as “sweet sorghum” or “sorghum molasses” and sometimes colloquially called simply “molasses.” However, technically speaking, molasses would be made from sugar cane or sugar beets, but not sorghum. Does that make sense?

Hope this helps!

Jessy Yancey
editor
farmflavor.com
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Anyone planting sorghum?

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The folks here call molasses “They” referring kind of like a person. Having walked the pony (that’s what drives the mill heads) around and around if you don’t have a flat belt, and sat late keeping the low wood fire glowing under the tank, it’s fun. The green clabber is what rises as the cook goes along and has to be skimmed off during the boil. If you are getting a bitter taste, you didn’t skim it good.

To get ready we used a hardwood swing stick sharpened on one side to strip the fodder off the cane stalks in the field. You have to get the cane run through the mill right before the frost because a frost or freeze makes the cane poison. And chewing on a fresh cane stalk working in the field is better than a candy cane at Christmas.

The boil can finish very quickly and the wood is pulled away from the tank, a long/narrow/shallow tub, new ones are stainless steel like a bathtub.

My old cousins Clifton and brother Henry used to tell a funny while tending the boil: Spring time was sweeping into the Brushy Mtns, flowers and apple trees blooming. A mole family had been hibernating a long winter away and a whiff of spring freshness blew down their tunnel and awakened father, mother and baby mole.

Father mole stretches and pokes his head up through the tunnel hole into the spring sunshine. Elated he exclaims, “oh boy, this smells like apple blossoms!”

Momma mole tugs at his foot and says “let me, let me!” She pokes her head out and “Oh, it smells like roses!”

An impatient baby mole tugs at her and says, “let me, let me!” He pokes his head out the tunnel and exclaims, “all I smell is mole asses.”

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Used to plant one field of cane, about an acre, for the 30 pastured pigs to lounge out of the heat and wallow and chew. They loved to make nests in the maize and hide away. Had a bunch of fun sneaking through the tangle and surprising them. I love my pigs.

Had one old brand tri-color sow, she was sweet and tame and would cart me around like a pony. My girl friend commented how handsome and tame she was. I said “yes Eva, I named her after you, McSqueelly.

Eva stomps her big number 9 boot in the dirt and blurts loudly, “I can’t believe you named a pig after me!” I replied sensibly, “but Eva, she’s my favorite.”

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That is funny because when I was a kid my great grandmother lived in east Texas and we lived in west Texas. When my grandmother drove home to see her mother, she would bring back sorghum syrup and some malt syrup in quart cans. Adults got the sorghum with butter and kids got other syrup with margarine. We were not supposed to be able to tell the difference, but we could. I went to see my great grandmother one Thanksgiving and they were making it at a big celebration outside Sulphur Springs in a little town called Yantis.

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Yantis was about 15 miles from where I went to school.

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