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Molasses jug

This jug contains molasses, a sweet, thick syrup with a strong taste. Molasses is a residue from the refining process of sugar cane or sugar beet. It is stored in opaque containers to protect it from light and to help preserve it.

Molasses is used in French America to sweeten food since the beginning of the colony. It is accessible because of the triangular trade with the West Indies. The Bema company commercializes molasses from Barbados. Molasses is associated with the working classes and is less expensive than refined sugar. It is used in many recipes, such as molasses pies, baked beans, “small beers”, and bread. Molasses is also the main ingredient of “tire Sainte-Catherine” or pulled taffy, a popular candy traditionally made on the feast of Saint Catherine (November 25th). This holiday commemorates Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of unmarried girls and school children.


Date: First half of the 20th century

Origin: America

Owner: Magasin général historique authentique 1928. Percé.


Bema melasse extra fancy des Barbades: Une variété de délicieuses recettes [Bema extra fancy Barbados molasses. A variety of delicious recipes]. (n.d.). Bema Molasses. https://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/2282657

Germain, R. (1992). Les p’tites bières [Small beers]. Cap aux diamants, 28, 36–39. https://id.erudit.org/iderudit/7986ac

Linteau, P.-A. (2015, December 11). Le faubourg à m’lasse [The molasses faubourg]. Mémoire des Montréalais. https://ville.montreal.qc.ca/memoiresdesmontrealais/le-faubourg-mlasse

Illustration: Molasses jug