Discover the wonders of sugar cane

Sugar cane is available now in some of the farmers and Asian markets. If you’re not sure what it looks like, just look for the large, well, canes that are similar to bamboo shoots thickened up on steroids. They can be any color from green or brown, to mahogany red or deep purple. Sugar cane is cheap, fun to eat—and obviously sweet.

Most people just use sugar cane for chawin’. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skin. After that, you can chop it up into sticks or chunks and chew away. When the sorghumy goodness is all gone, then toss it away (the actual fiber of the sugar cane is fibrous and indigestible).

Of course, there are culinary uses for sugar cane.

If you have a juicer, you’re all set. The dazzlingly sweet juice is striking on the palate when mixed in cocktails with a bit of gin and tonic, and shaken with rosemary and cucumber. The juice also adds a soft zing to vinaigrettes and marinades. Peel out long pieces of the fibrous cane and use them as skewers for barbecue or as toothpicks for hors d’oeuvres, both of which will be imbued with a hint of sugar.