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Doug Visits our Agave Farm (Part 1)

(This article was
originally posted
on our blog in March 2010.
We're reposting it here
on our new blog
for your blissful
enjoyment.
~Vince)

 

Recently at Coconut Bliss, we have been receiving 
a lot of inquiries from Bliss lovers about agave.
There has been a flurry of information
coming out on the Internet that challenges
its status as a healthy alternative to other sugars.

At Coconut Bliss, we pride ourselves on integrity and honesty, sourcing only the purest and highest quality ingredients. Our own research into agave has culminated just this past week in having our General Manager, Doug Furlong, visit Jalisco, Mexico to personally inspect our agave producer's fields and facilities.




This first article will talk about the general parts of how our agave is processed. Future articles in this series will go into detail about this unique plant and food source, and the history that surrounds it...

***

I went to Jalisco, Mexico to see with my own eyes how the agave syrup that we use in Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss is produced. Sometimes it helps to see something up close, and I knew it would be fascinating. Having been a connoisseur of frozen dessert (and a food scientist) for many years , I knew I'd learn something. And it'd be fun.

It was both. :)

 

All 3 plants I visited--all in the state of Jalisco in Mexico--are clean, modern and state-of-the-art.

 

 

The process for making agave syrup is really very simple:

First, the specially trained 'jimadore' harvests the 'pina' from a mature agave plant:

Next the 'pina' (juice-rich inner core) is crushed and chopped by a machine.

After this, the agave juice is washed off with hot water. I want to stress that they only use hot water--no chemicals, enzymes or additives are used in this process.

Next, the the agave juice goes into a tank where it's warmed-up, and the heat breaks down the raw agave juice into the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Again, there are no enzymes, additives or chemicals added to assist in this process. Overall, it's a relatively simple process.

Here' a picture of myself and the head farmer of this particular agave farm.

There's a lot more to the history of agave --and the art of being a Jimadore. We'll discuss that and more in my next post.

(UPDATE:  PART 2 of Doug's adventure is here.)

~Doug