Rectifying Post about Agave
Folks- just a short and clarifying post about agave nectar.
I talked yesterday with Felix, who told me, that my post made his mixologist unsure about using the product… and this was not my intention.
Yes - agave nectar is not super healthy. Yes - it might be not beneficial at all [neither taste, nor health, nor cost advantages]. But it is not harmful, either.
Yes - I even suggested before, to use fruit sugar [which is fructose] in a Mojito. Crystalline fructose dissolves much easier and faster in cold liquid. And lets face it, the alcohol in the drink, is much more harmful, than the fructose.
The reason, why it is such a big bummer is, that organic and health stores, pseudo health products are using it to make things healthier than sugar - and apparently it does the opposite.
Some of you might say, that agave nectar has a low glycemic index. And this is true. But this happens due to a trade off: the fructose can only be broken down by the liver - and you can imagine, that the liver is not an organ, which has only little to do. It is just an additional stress…
Again - if you [or your guests] are drinking a couple of Tommy's Margaritas a week, it won't really matter..
Please don't overreact. For me, it all doesn't really make sense: the stuff is expensive, and more or less useless - and not even healthy. Ok - it has one advantage, it dissolves [as crystalline fructose] much easier in cold liquids than caster sugar.
Felix and me just argued about the taste. He told me, that he tasted the fresh 'baked' agave and it would taste very close to the agave syrup. I rather believe, that this might be a placebo effect [well - both substances are sweet - and he didn't tasted any reference substance, like sugar syrup or honey syrup].
A self test - of organic raw agave syrup [Spinneys product - very dark as well as quite expensive] has taste [definitely much more, as the light golden agave syrups you can buy almost everywhere these days]. The nose is very, very subtle - almost not there. I would say it smells sweet…
The taste is very sweet as well. It taste almost like honey, which is "diluted" with simple syrup - or better said very little honey in a lot of sugar syrup. It also has a quite unique eucalyptus note.
- You are making your own "agave syrup" [not nectar]. Find some agaves or similar tasting plants, cook them [maybe in the pressure cooker] and infuse simple or rich syrup with the result.
- Buy these raw agave syrups. They are still subtle, but definitely have some taste.
- Don't expect to do something healthy for yourself or your guests - and don't advertise it as such [or I will come after you :) ].
But there is one more suggestion, what I can give you: Just don't believe all crap, what the industry tells your. And don't do everything what "everyone" is doing for the moment. Research yourself. And fully understand all ingredients, you are using.
For this, you even don't need an opinionated alchemist!