You’d be hard-pressed to find a food producer today whose product has remained virtually unchanged over the past 140 years.
But that’s the case with Crosby’s Molasses. This fifth-generation family-owned company continues to import fancy and blackstrap molasses that is as wholesome today as it was back in 1879 when the company was founded.
The process to make fancy molasses has changed little since 1800s. The sugarcane is pressed to extract the juice and the juice is then evaporated and inverted into a syrup. The main difference is that today only a handful of sugar mills in the world produce fancy molasses. (Unlike blackstrap molasses, fancy molasses is not a by-product of the sugar refining process.)
In Canada, fancy molasses has an actual standard of identity. The designation “fancy” is unique to Canada.
Once the primary sweetener along the Eastern seaboard and Quebec, fancy molasses is a heritage ingredient that gives traditional recipes that old-fashioned flavour. Think baked beans, brown bread, molasses cookies, bran muffins and gingerbread. But because molasses adds a distinct flavour, it lets chefs inject a little old-fashioned authenticity into contemporary dishes too (molasses-brined duck breast, gingery molasses scented Pavlova and all things barbecue).
Crosby’s fancy molasses has a “terroir” of sorts.
The company’s fancy molasses is single-source molasses made from the juice of sugarcane grown around the Madre Tierra sugar mill in Guatemala. The tangy flavour and red-tinged colour are distinct to the molasses imported by Crosby’s.
Home cooks can find Crosby’s molasses in grocery stores from coast to coast. Food service distributors carry Crosby’s fancy and blackstrap molasses in a variety of sizes. Crosby Molasses is a Canadian company based in Saint John, N.B.