Although I was born outside of Chicago, in Joliet, Illinois, I’ve spent the greater part of my life in the southeastern U.S.. As a Southerner, then, I’ve long been privy to bits of commonly known regional information. Which is to say that I’m well aware that the sole vowel in the color “pink” is often swapped out with an “a” when said aloud (say it with me now-”Pank”), that the term “Darlin’” can be both a term of endearment and a reproach, and that there are very clearly drawn lines in the sand when it comes to the preparation of BBQ (the war of saucy versus vinegar rages large).
What I’ve been less schooled on, however, is sorghum. Though the long-running sweetener indigenous to the region before the sugar cane barons pushed it out, sorghum wasn’t part of my southern roots cuisine. Until this past year, that is. Hubs and I discovered several local producers of the grass-related sweetener and have been smitten ever since. So much so, in fact, that we offered a 3-part series of recipes showcasing all things sorghum last winter. If you missed them, here’s what we shared:
Sorghum is having a renaissance of sorts, it would seem. We’re not the only ones taking notice, either. NPR did a bit on the cane sweetener last week. The Local Palate, a magazine based out of Charleston, SC, has a Caramelized Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake featuring the sticky stuff that will definitely be coming out of my oven. Our chocolate buddies, Jael & Dan, are even offering a Sorghum Caramel Truffle (go get it, now!).
If you haven’t yet heard of sorghum, don’t be surprised if you do soon. It’s versatile, delicious, and domestically-produced.
Consider yourself now properly Southern-schooled.