Sorghum, or sorghum molasses as it is sometimes called, was (along with honey) a main sweetener in the mountains. Sorghum cane was brought to America from Africa in the 19th century. Most communities had a sorghum mill. Farmers brought their cane to the mill. There the 6-to-12-foot stalks were crushed between rollers powered by a mule walking in a circle. The resulting juice was boiled down in large pans to a thick, sweet syrup. The syrup was poured over pancakes and biscuits, and used as an ingredient to flavor cakes, cookies and candy. Some people in the mountains still prefer it as a sweetener, and a few still make it, but consumption of sorghum has now been surpassed by the granulated white sugar bought in grocery stores.
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