The story excerpt and captions below were translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the story and captions in full in the original bahasa Indonesia version, visit IDN Times. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
Pekalongan, IDN Times — Some people are still confused about the difference between palm sugar and brown sugar. The basic difference is that brown sugar comes from the juice of coconut trees or palm sap while palm sugar is made from palm tree sap (Arenga pinnata) which is a traditional processing process.
Another most obvious difference between brown sugar and palm sugar comes from the color. Palm sugar is lighter with a characteristic dark yellowish and reddish color than brown sugar. Then the texture of palm sugar is also softer so it crumbles easily. Palm sugar is beneficial for health because it is suitable for consumption for diabetics because it does not contain insulin but is high in potassium from other types of sugar.
Aren trees have ecological functions and have high economic value so they are potential to be used as soil and water conservation plants, especially Petungkriyono forest, in Pekalongan, Central Java. IDN Times had the opportunity to see first hand the use of palm sugar, which is the only one in the lowland tropical rain forest that remains on the island of Java.