Since I've posted so much about the arrival of the book I think I will devote this update to something different found around our beautiful state. Do you know the difference between sorghum and molasses? There is a difference. In Kentucky we make sorghum. Different counties around the state claim to produce only the best sorghum. There is even a Sorghum Festival in West Liberty each year.
Not nearly as many farmers make sorghum these days. And no wonder, the process requires special equipment and the skill of a good sorghum maker. My family always claimed that the very best sorghum can only come from Menifee County, Kentucky. Others claim Morgan County has the best. Some of the best we found over in Casey County. Oberholtzer's is outstanding. Each year during September and October as the sorghum "cane" plant reaches the peak of sweetness it is harvested and crushed to extract the sweet juice. The juice is then boiled to the right temperature to reduce the excess water, leaving the sticky, sweet product.
At Oberholtzer's, wood fired boilers provide the constant heat to raise the juice to the proper temperature and cool down as the liquid flows through a series of troughs. Workers constantly "skim" away impurities and foam from the prize until this reduction process yields the precious sweet product.
Just last week Edgar Williams was making his variety of sorghum just outside of Frenchburg, Ky. It seems that the seeds of a particularly good variety of the plant are kept each year. As a result, certain sorghum makers are known for their particular variety of the tasty product.
This difference in sorghum and molasses is the type of plant they are made from. Molasses is made from the sugar cane plant while sorghum is made from the sorghum plant. Sugar cane does not grow as far north as Kentucky but the hearty sorghum plant does very well in this region.