A typical Latin American product, whole sugar cane is made from sugar cane juice, which is boiled and evaporated after extraction.
Tailin whole sugar cane is produced artisanally using only sugar cane grown at high altitudes (over 1,500 meters above sea level) in a small community in the northern Peruvian district of Montero.
The plant grows to over 3 meters high and has a yellow outer layer. After the mature stalks have been selected, they are cut by hand, then pressed in small mills (trapiches) to obtain the juice. This juice is then cooked down until it becomes a thick syrup. This is poured into metal basins and left to dry while being continuously stirred.
Tailin panela is unusual for its pale color, loose consistency and delicate flavor, particularly appreciated by chefs.
It used to be produced in blocks which would be wrapped in banana leaves. However, the processing took place in unhygienic conditions and the sales price was very low. Thanks to a series of training sessions and exchanges of experiences with producers from other countries (Nicaragua, Ecuador and Colombia), the Tailin community has started to produce granulated panela, using a traditional mill. This is the first example of such a production in Peru.
The whole sugar cane can be used in delicious dishes, like sweet zapallo (based on pumpkin and panela), toronche (a kind of yogurt with wild fruit, milk and panela) and lucuma juice, prepared with the addition of panela and milk.
The panela production has allowed Tailing to obtain electricity and facilitated transport links, benefitting the whole community. Additionally, it has led to the organization of a panela festival, held every year in the last week of September in nearby Montero.
The Presidium unites 12 producers, all with organic certification, who belong to the Appagrop association, in turn a member of the Norandino cooperative. However, the panela production chain involves over 50 families from the community in various seasonal activities.
The project represents the first step towards the creation of a network of panela Presidia in Latin America, with the aim of celebrating the diversity of this product and promoting a concrete alternative to coca cultivation by supporting small-scale producers.
Tailin, Montero district, Ayacaba province, Piura department, northern Peru
Presidium supported by
Yeny Mariluz Robledo Bermeo
tel. +51 73345293