Also knew as “chancaca” in Peru, panela caster is a natural sweetener derived from sugar cane. The difference between white sugar and brown sugar is that the latter is not refined and no chemical additives are used during the refinement process. This panela can be directly consumed or used as a sweetener in food industry processes. The product is a natural, healthy sugar with lnutritional benefits. CAES Piura sells bags of 30Kg, 1Kg and 1 / 2Kg.
After being harvested, the sugar cane is carried to the sugar refinery where it will be ground in order to obtain the “guarapo” which is sugar cane juice. Once extracted, filtered and decanted, the juice will be heated to to remove the liquids till it reaches the optimal consistency.
At that moment, the mix has a honeyed texture and we will have to leave it to cool, beating the mix until it becomes solidified and transformed into a panela caster. The whipping process is what gives the sugar its distinctive caster texture compared to the panela in hard block form.
The main panela production sites are in the Montero, Jilili, Sicchez, Ayacaba and Frias districts within the Ayacaba provinceThere are also other producers within Santa Catalina de Mossa (Morropon).