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Molasses and Social Standing in Colonial America

 Hasty pudding topped with vanilla ice cream, this and other recipes below
In the British Atlantic world, English planters in the Caribbean sold molasses along with sugar and rum to Africans, Indians, English commoners, and to colonists as commodities. Colonists in Virginia and the Carolinas traded furs and cedars for molasses from the Caribbean where they used it in a variety ways such as a sweetener in porridges and bread. A common use of molasses among whites was as a sweetener in “hasty pudding”—a combination of oatmeal and porridge that was served with butter, milk, and molasses. In short, molasses consumption indicated that a person was a member of the lower sect of the British Empire who ate far from the tables of the rich. An anonymous observer wrote around 1730, “Molaffes is generally used throughout all the Northern Colonies, and at our Fifheries, in brewing their Beer, and the poorer Sort, who are very numerous, eat it with their Bread, and make Puddings of it, Ec [sic].” Here is a great hasty pudding recipe that reflects the spirit of this story about molasses in colonial America.

Hasty pudding recipe: http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HastyPudding_IndianPudding.htm

Molasses and Atlantic Foodways Series: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=molasses+recipes

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The Asian and African Roots of Molasses