Agave is a plant is considered as a source for production of Tequila and historically its use dates back to many thousand years popularly used as food ingredient. The nectar which is obtained from the plant is called aguamiel by the Mexicans meaning the honey water.
The Aztecs consider agave as the prized gift the gods bestowed on them. They are using the liquid obtained from its core for flavoring the foods and various drinks. Presently with the increased awareness related to the agave nectar’s numerous associated benefits, it has attained the status of sweetener for health conscious people as the choice of preference. It is recommended by doctors and widely used by cooks specializing in natural foods.
Sourcing Agave Nectar:
Agave nectar is often known as agave syrup is most of the times produced from the Blue Agaves which are having best growth in volcanic soils abundantly found in the Southern Mexico. Agaves look like big sized plants with spikes, which have great resemblance with the cactus plants or yuccas in respect of shape as well as their habitat. The major difference is that Agave is in reality is a succulent plant having similarity to the very well known Aloe Vera.
The Agaves are available in large number of size and color variations due to more than 100 species of the plant observed in nature. Because the blue variety of Agave has quite high carbohydrate content, it is yielding higher percentage of fructose in its final nectar. Therefore blue Agave is treated as the preferred plant species for sourcing nectar from it. Besides Maguey Agave is the other kind of species from which agave nectars are sourced. The premium variety of agave nectar is obtained from Weber Blue Agave variety.
Making Agave Nectar:
· By the time the agave plant becomes 7 to 10 years old, cutting of the leaves is carried out its Pina forming the core of the plant gets exposed, which was surrounded by the leaves. On harvesting Pina has the resemblance to giant sized pineapple its weight ranges from 50 pounds to 150 pounds.
· For making the Agave nectar its sap extraction is carried out from the harvested Pina. It is further filtered and subjected to mild heating causing breakdown of the carbohydrates into various sugars.
· The light and dark Agave nectar varieties are produced from the same plant. Since the temperature to which it is subjected is low, many varieties get produced. The temperature is kept below 118°F as a result the raw foods fans are happy with it considering such agave nectar as the raw food they fondly consume.
The Various Different Tastes of Agave Nectar Reflects its Quality:
· The agave nectar taste is quite comparable, even though it is by any means cannot be identical to the natural honey. Majority of the people who are somehow do not like the taste of honey, are finding agave nectar to possess higher palatability and therefore make its choice. It does not have any kind of bitter aftertaste when it is used in combination with the artificial sweeteners.
· Few the nectar producers are making available around 6 to 7 varieties of Agave nectar sourced through different kind of plant varieties as well as following slight variations in their production methods. Most popular brands have two very basic varieties the light one and dark one.
· The light variety of agave nectar is processed at much lower temperature in comparison to dark varieties. Moreover these undergo better filtration resulting in mild flavored agave nectar syrup. This variety is the preferred one in large number of culinary products made.
· The dark Agave nectar undergoes comparatively rough filtration and there are solids remain suspended in the nectar making it the stronger nectar variety and its flavor is often comparable to the maple syrup.