Palm Blossom Sugar or Coconut Blossom Sugar?

First of all: our main priority is to get you off of one of the dangerous drug of all times, white sugar. Of course we would love to see you try our Kamkav palm blossom sugar. We personally think it is the best choice when it comes to taste. And it has a very low GI. But there are many other good alternatives as well.

We really want to encourage you to do two things:

  1. reduce your intake of sugar, wether it is white sugar or one of the alternatives.
  2. replace your white sugar entirely for one of the natural alternatives.

Now having this said, you can choose from many natural alternatives: Stevia, Monk fruit, Maple syrup, honey, dates; but for this item we will concentrate on two of the most tasty alternatives: coconut blossom sugar and Cambodian palm blossom sugar.

 

The trees

First of all the source of both blossom sugars: the beautiful trees.  They both belong to the big family of palm trees. There are about 2600 species of palm trees. The scientific name of the coconut palm tree is Cocos Nucifera; the Latin name of the Cambodian palm tree is Borassus Flabellifer.

For commercial purposes coconut palm trees are grown in plantations. They start blossoming and bearing fruit after five till six years. Cambodian palm trees are almost never found in plantations (with one small exception in Thailand) because it takes more than 15 years for them to blossom. When it comes to the sap, coconut trees can produce this for more than 20 years, where as the Cambodian palm tree is gifted with the creation of the nectar for a period of 30 till 100 years.

Coconut palm tree plantation

Cambodian palm trees in Kampong Thom, where we also collect the Kamkav Farm blossom sugar.

You must choose: fruit or nectar

In both cases you must choose as a farmer: either you go for the fruits (the coconut or the Cambodian palm fruit) or you cut the blossom daily before it bears fruit in order to collect the nectar.

coconuts

Cambodian palm fruits

 

The Glycemic Index

According to the FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines Coconut sugar has anti-diabetic properties because it does not induce hyperglycemia or high blood sugar thanks to the low glycemic index (GI) of 35 plus/minus 5.

There is still no official research published on Cambodian palm blossom sugar although our own tests with diabetic patients indicate that the GI is probably lower than the GI of coconut sugar. But within the next month or two, we will have an official GI number. We are now approaching the GIRU, the Glycemic Index Research Unit of the Temasek Polytechnic University in Singapore to run an official research on the Cambodian blossom sugar.

 

The taste

When it comes to taste, both blossom sugars are appreciated as the best tasting alternatives of white sugar. In Thailand for instance, also promoted as the “kitchen of the world”, Cambodian palm blossom sugar is preferred above coconut blossom sugar but because palm blossom sugar is very difficult to get in Thailand, you will find much more coconut sugar in all kind of recipes.

 

  1. FAO.org on tapping palm trees 
  2. Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) Philippines
  3. The Nation: Thailand portal. Thailand as kitchen of the world
  4. Kitchen stewardship
  5. Max Falkowitz: spice hunting
  6. the Spruce: Palm Sugar and Coconut Sugar – Darlene Schmidt
  7. GIRU, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore

 

Stop poisoning your body

You want to eat healthily and honestly. But not everybody wants to give up on sweets. In the last fifty years, we tripled our consumption of sugar. Tripled! All Americans are weighing now 12 kilos more than they did 25 years ago. One of the main reasons was the anti-fat rage. And the food industry listened… and replaced fat for carbohydrates from sugar. So our sugar consumption spiked in the past 25 years. Consumption of heavily processed sugar. Poisonous sugar. Sugar that is bleached with sulphur dioxide and ‘enriched’ with phosphoric acid and carbon dioxide.

It is very difficult to take a step back in our consumption of the dangerous sweetener. Sugar is addictive. And it makes you desire for more. In general, people should at least try to reduce the amount of sugar intake. But maybe even more important: knowing how poisonous processed sugar is, people should replace their bleached sugar for a natural alternative. And that’s where our Kamkav Farm Palm Blossom Sugar steps in. It is one of the natural alternatives. And an amazing one: organic, unrefined, unblended and still containing all nutrients and minerals. Gained from the Borassus Flabellifer on the fertile soils of Cambodia, the kingdom of Wonder. Still treated in the most natural way by Cambodians for whom organic is not a trend but just a way how it always was.

Just to clarify the advances of our Cambodian palm blossom sugar:

🌎 it is pure nature, coming from the nectar of the unique Cambodian Palm Tree

🌎 it is only collected once the tree reaches the age of 20 years

🌎 it is organic

🌎 it is unblended

🌎 it is unrefined; only cooked, stirred and dried

🌎 we selected almost 50 selected ethnic families who collect the nectar twice a day and whom we pay a premium on top of the market price

🌎 we consistently guide the families to keep the quality at the highest levels possible

🌎 it has a low impact on blood glucose levels (Glycemic Index of 35; against 68 for table sugar)

🌎 it is more appropriate for diabetics

🌎 it still contains all nutrients and minerals

 

Don’t wait too long! Start today by reducing your intake of sugars,and replacing the sugars you are consuming by natural alternatives. Of course, we would like you to buy and eat our Kamkav farm palm blossom sugar. We are eating it now ourselves because it also tastes so good. But there are many other alternatives as well: coconut blossom sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup, Stevia, Lo Han. Enough choices. But most important is: get back your health! 

Kamkav Farm Palm Blossom Sugar

We are full steam ahead in collecting the organic Cambodian Palm Blossom Sugar. Our home province Mondulkiri doesn’t have any Cambodian Palm trees within its frontiers so we will open a warehouse in Kampong Cham City where we can buy the palm sugar in its powder form directly from the families in the Kampong Cham and Prey Veng provinces.

To collect the nectar from the trees in the early morning and late afternoon is one thing, but to cook it and especially stir it until reaching the complete dry version of the sugar is a terribly hard job to do. That’s the reason most families produce the sugar paste, still containing around 30% water. With the help of San You and his fantastic wife Lamah we managed to convince and train some families to produce the sugar till its purest powder form. But we are literally paying a price for it. We pay the collecting families 50% more for the powder form than they can get for the paste form.

In the meantime, we are keeping a close eye on the quality of the product. Some trees contain a higher sugar level than other trees, and we select the families who own or rent these trees. We are constantly testing the nectar. And we are preparing a small factory where we can cook in a much more efficient way the nectar ourselves with electrical stirring equipment. Wood will still heat the ovens but because we can use the heat of the fire far more efficiently we can save at least 50% more on the wood itself.

The farmer families can’t wait till we have built this mini sugar factory. They can skip the cooking and stirring while concentrating purely on collecting the nectar from the trees. And saving the time of the processing, they can rent up to twice as many trees to collect the nectar. The only critical point in here is that they don’t travel more than 30 minutes to the mini factory because the nectar must be processed within a few hours after harvesting. But the result will be the same: pure organic Cambodian Palm Blossom Sugar that still contains all the nutrients.

Let’s start a nursery

Create new forms of life in an organic way: that’s the goal we set when we put up our fist cacao nursery.

We have ambitious plans for Cambodia when it comes to cacao. We know that the future of cacao looks magnificent; for the next ten years at least. We watch the world markets and the world movements, and then it’s not hard for us to foresee that cacao prices will grow in the next ten years. It never goes in a straight line of course. That’s what we experienced at the beginning of this year when suddenly the world prices dropped more than 10%. But there is already a recovery taking place. These price developments make us confident about the future of cacao in Cambodia. And it gives us the chance to bring prosperity not only to our own company but to share this also with other farmers who are willing to take on the brown gold, as cacao is sometimes called.

Because we want to set up a small chocolate factory within the next three years, we need more farmers to develop cacao. It is in our interest to get far more farmers on board, and for the farmers, it will give a peace of mind if they can get a farming contract which will provide them with a price assurance from year to year.

But to pull it all off, we have to start with a cacao nursery. And this is by far more exciting than we thought in the beginning. We are not just growing 80,000 seedlings at the time with the challenge of cloning the upcoming plant with a branch of a high yield producing mother tree, but we also love experimenting with new varieties. As long as you do this in an organic way, mother nature can give you fantastic surprises.

Thanks to Twitter and other social media we are in contact with farmers and researchers in South America, where the cacao development is even more exciting than in Asia. I am skyping with Aaron Sylvester, who is setting up cacao contract farming in Grenada, twittering with farms in Peru (@maranonchocolate ) and Nicaragua (@cacaofarmdiary ) and Facebooking with cacao scientist Darwin Toapanta in Ecuador who I visited last year. In Asia, we mainly work with the cacao species called Forastero. But with the help of Darwin, we hope to import cacao varieties Nacional, Arriba and CN51, and experiment with cross-overs between the different types. It won’t be that difficult to interbreed with cacao, because – and let me quote here one of the most attention-drawing information about cacao from a French female chocolatier – “cacao is a slut”. As a result, there seem to be around 1,400 subvarieties of the cacao tree. It would be an absolute honor if we could add a new Asian variety to this great family.