Pioneer Sugar - From Michigan Beets
Up in Michigan, at the local Hardings grocery store, they sell 2 kinds of sugar. First comes the Spartan Brand of generic sugar. And....then they sell something called Pioneer Sugar.
I'm certain that there are some characteristics of cane sugar that outweigh anything you can squeeze out of a beet, but eating something local - that helps the Michigan economy - is a nice counter to any shortcomings recipe-wise.
The sugar beet industry in Michigan has the loggers to thank. According to the history books, as the logging companies began to clear pine forests, they left behind land that was unusable for farming because of the stumps. Some crazy farmer decided to experiment with beets and the rest - as they say - is history. As best as I can tell, growing local sugar in the upper Midwest is unique to this part of Michigan. We might have had some sugar beets back in the day in parts of Illinois, but not today.
I used about half of the five pound bag of this stuff making jams, but the rest will be used up quickly by Nat in one of her various baking adventures. With it being priced fairly, it only seems right that we should be using Michigan sugar for everything we do in the kitchen.