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How Do I Choose the Best White Sugar?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2016
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White sugar is the most common type of granulated sugar used in the average home. There are several different types of sugar, some of which is only sold through vendors within the cooking industry. The best type of depends on the foods for which you are using it, as well as your personal preferences in taste and texture.

Table sugar is widely available in supermarkets, and is used in homes and by amateur cooks for simple recipes. This type of white sugar is the finest, meaning that the crystals are smaller. It is ideal for use on different foods as a topping because it does not add bulk to already-prepared dishes. This version is also easiest with which to cook because the size of the crystals makes it easy to mix with other ingredients.

Coarse sugar is similar in taste to table sugar, but the texture is rougher. Some cooks prefer to use this type in order to add some bulk to particular dishes, such as desserts. Larger crystals in coarse sugar are helpful in making liquors, since table sugar does not add the thickness such recipes need. Sanding sugar has even larger crystals than coarse versions, but this type is usually used as a topping rather than for during the cooking process.

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Some types of white sugar contain even smaller crystals than regular table sugar, including bakers, fruit, and ultrafine sugar. Ultrafine sugar contains the smallest of all crystals, followed by bakers and fruit. Smaller crystals are desired by cooks and bakers who desire the sugar to dissolve quickly in a particular recipe. These types of sugars might also be substituted for table sugar at home if you prefer a finer texture. Powdered sugar, however, is different from white sugar in the way that it is processed, as well as the overall texture.

Choosing the best type of white sugar depends on the recipes for which you are using them. Easy home recipes usually only need regular table sugar, and perhaps sometimes powdered sugar. More intricate recipes might call for smaller crystals that dissolve quicker, or perhaps thicker white sugar for more noticeable textures.

Another consideration is the cost and availability of certain types of white sugar. Table sugar is the most widely available and affordable of all types, so this might be your best choice if you want something basic at little cost. Powdered sugar generally follows second to table versions in terms of cost and where it is sold. Other types of white sugar are more difficult to come by, and they are sometimes exclusively sold to professional chefs.

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