Lovers of fruit dessert pies handmade by Brockleby’s will know that they do not taste artificially sweet or even overly sweet. It is sometimes necessary, on a batch by batch basis, to adjust the tastes and sweetness with a little help from Silver Spoon’s infamous sugar.
Regular readers of The Slice will know that we are keen to share the provenance of our ingredients with our customers. We do not buy sugar in large quantities and are sure that this is pleasing to hear. On the other hand, it is an important ingredient in fruit dessert pies just as salt and pepper is in the savoury pies!
From where do we source sugar?
Sugar is major staple in most kitchens and an ingredient which we might take for granted. Many are not aware that sugar grows in this country in the form of the sugar beet plant. The UK’s three thousand sugar beet farmers together produce over eight million tonnes of sugar beet. This satisfies half the UK’s demand for sugar. Their farms tend to be located in the East of England close to the four British Sugar refineries. One of these is located close by us in Newark, Nottinghamshire. All together they process 1.4 million tonnes of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets.
Sugar cane, gown abroad, fulfils the other half of the UK’s sugar requirement. We are committed to buying our supplies from British Sugar. Our allegiance helps our home grown industry protect 9,500 jobs.
Sugar beet is a parsnip-like tap root. Farmers sew this biennial crop in the Spring and harvest it between October and March. It is often in use for crop rotation to maintain the fertility of the soil.
The sugar production process
Once at the refinery, they test the roots for quality and subsequently wash them. The process of making sugar involves the extraction of sucrose from the taproot. The by-product pulp becomes animal feed in the form of ‘cossettes’ similar in shape to french fries. Every part of the plant is used which means nothing is wasted. The leaves often remain in the fields as a natural fertiliser which pleases wildlife such as the Pink-Footed Geese!
If you have ever eaten one of our fruit dessert pies you now know you have supported the British Sugar Industry. So, when you next tuck into an Issac’s Apple Pie, a Scrumpers, a Persian Delight or a Very Merry Berry Pie, you too are making a difference to our local farming community. We are proud supporters of British Farming.