Panela production a way of life in Colombia

Americas Now

Panela production a way of life in Colombia

In Colombia, coffee isn’t the only drink waking people up in the morning, agua de panela is too. It’s made from sugarcane, but this treat is nothing like the refined white sugar that you see at the local supermarket. It is most commonly called panela. It is the juice that is removed from sugar cane, and then dehydrated and crystalized through the evaporation process. Small villages in South America have been producing the brick-like sweetener the same way since the 16th century.

Roughly 300,000 Colombian families make their living by producing panela. It is the second leading source of jobs in the country after coffee.   Americas Now takes a takes a closer look at the popular natural sweetener.

Panela production a way of life in Colombia

Panela production a way of life in Colombia

In Colombia, coffee isn’t the only drink waking people up in the morning, agua de panela is too. It’s made from sugarcane, but this treat is nothing like the refined white sugar that you see at the local supermarket.


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