National Molasses Bar Day
annually on February 8th
Molasses is a thick, sweet syrup made from sugarcane, and today is dedicated to bars made from it. Its name comes from the Portuguese word "melaco," which came from the Latin word "mel," meaning "honey." It is also known as black treacle in Britain. Molasses has been used to sweeten food since the 1500s, and besides being used in bars, it is presently used in making things such as cookies, beer, gingerbread, sauces, baked beans, and toffee. It is also used to make brown sugar. Cane molasses is the type used in cooking, and it is made by extracting juice from sugarcane and then boiling it. After the first boil it is called first syrup; this is the sweetest type of molasses. If it is boiled again it becomes second molasses, and if it is boiled a third time it becomes the robustly flavored backstrap molasses, which contains a large amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Another type of molasses is called beet molasses, and it is made from sugar beets. It has a bad smell and taste, so it is usually used as an animal feed additive. In the Middle East, molasses is sometimes made from grapes, pomegranates, mulberries, dates, and carob.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by making molasses bars!