On the way to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi Province, many tourists would stop by at Samut Songkhram to see how the locals make the coconut sugar which is one of the famous products of the province.
The freshly made coconut sugar sweets like rich caramel with a strong pleasurable sweet aroma. Lending a special rich creamy flavour and good smell to most kinds of Thai sweets as well as enhancing the taste of curries, the coconut sugar is perhaps the most suitable types of sugar for our Thai recipes.
It is to be regretted that nowadays the processed sugar made from sugarcane like brown and refined sugar has replaced the traditional all-natural coconut sugar. It is partly because of the coconut sugar is small scale work that requires manual labour and good teamwork.
In some districts of Samut Songkhram where coconut plantations have been grown, the locals have made their living out of the coconut sugar. By hanging a bamboo tube overnight, the sap that comes from the cut flower buds will drip into the tube. Villagers will wake up early in the morning to collect the watery sap on each tree. Then, they will boil the sap in huge open containers until it becomes sticky yellow sugar.
While the sticky liquid is still hot, they will pour it in a small cup and wait until it cools and becomes solid. The colours of coconut sugar vary from light to dark caramel brown and its sweetness is also altered. Coconut sugar in a cake-like shape is now ready for sale. The price is about 30 baht/kg.
Now when the younger generation is sent to schools or to work in factories, only old folks stay at their hometowns and still make coconut sugar for a living. The production of coconut sugar has therefore declined because this kind of work which includes climbing the tree and stirring thick caramel in a large pan for a half day needs a lot of physical strength.
A demonstration of coconut sugar making can be included in the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market tour. Interested persons please contact a tour agent near you.
Related article : Floating Market Story
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, River Kwai Bridge, a long-tail boat trip to resort, Dinner with Mon Dance Show, Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and JEATH War Museum
Duration : 3D2N