Sugar maker shows his product.
In Fu'an, east China's Fujian Province, brown sugar is used to represent a sweet and happy life. It is an essential ingredient of festivals, but the traditional sugar making techniques are being lost as younger generations seek more profitable crafts.
But in this factory in Tanxi Township, craftsmen are preserving their craft through the 30-40 day production season.
Harvesting sugarcane is the very first step.
Green-skin sugarcane is often used in Fu'an.
The sugarcane is pressed and the juice poured into a big pot where it is constantly stirred over heat to condense until the juice turns into thick syrup. The syrup is then left to cool and harden in moulds of various shapes and sizes.
Sugarcane juice is heated and stirred to get syrup.
Syrup is poured onto a flat blanket to form a solid piece.
Brown sugar is cut into small pieces after it cools down.
Those of us with a sweet tooth can rejoice as brown sugar is not only delicious but also carries health benefits. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), brown sugar invigorates the kidneys and stomach. It is especially good for pregnant women, children and sufferers of Anemia.
Brown sugar is a special treat for local children.
(All photos by Wei Peiquan)