What is Palm Sugar?

Alternative sugars, like palm sugar, have become increasingly popular in recent years and are now becoming more widely available to shoppers. Palm sugar is considered a natural sweetener and comes from the sap of palm flowers. You’ll find recipes that feature palm sugar often come from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand.

From curries to desserts, there are so many ways you can implement this Asian pantry staple into all of your favorite cooking and baking recipes.

What is Palm Sugar?

Palm sugar is made by boiling the sap from palm flowers until it becomes a smooth paste. Because it undergoes minimal processing and contains no chemicals, it's considered an unrefined sugar. The process of making palm sugar is actually very similar to that of making maple syrup and can be made from a variety of palm trees such as palmyra, date, toddy, nipa, sugar, and coconut palms.

Palm sugar comes in different shapes, sizes, and textures. It is sometimes formed into cakes that can be shaved or grated to use in recipes and is also often available in a paste-like consistency, sold in jars or tubs. More recently, granulated palm sugar has also become more widely available due to its ease of use for baking.

What Does Palm Sugar Taste Like?

Four Elephants Brand Palm Sugar has a mild caramel flavor. In most palm sugars, you’ll notice this caramel flavoring, with hints of maple and even smoky overtones. Some say they even detect a hint of butterscotch.

Generally, palm sugar is more complex and less sweet than standard refined sugars. This gentle and sugary flavor may not be as bold as granulated white sugar, but the light and sweet taste doesn’t overpower a dish and pairs well with other strong flavors like fish sauce and lime juice.

Cooking With Palm Sugar

When cooking your regular, go-to dishes, you can replace any traditional sugar or white sugar with palm sugar, by simply doubling the necessary amount. However, if you’re looking to expand your palette and try some delicious Southeast Asian recipes, there are plenty that specifically call for palm sugar. From classic favorites like Pad Thai, to dishes you may not have had the chance to try yet like Moo Ping, palm sugar is used to create unique and tasty flavors.

No matter what’s on your menu, you always want to make sure you’re buying authentic, high-quality palm sugar for your recipes. Four Elephants makes it easy and convenient to get palm sugar delivered straight to your kitchen, so you never have to miss out on the recipes you’re craving.