There’s a sweet story behind sugar cane this time of year.
Stacked in the produce aisle at Ferraro Foods this week, the sugar cane, which is actually a perennial grass, is in season just in time for Chinese New Year.
The Year of the Monkey began on Monday, so Ferraro Foods imported the jointed fibrous stalks from China and stacked them in the produce aisle alongside other fresh vegetables and fruit.
Sugar cane is considered good luck, and as one customer explained to Danny Ferraro – placing a cane behind the front door may bring good fortune all year.
Another customer named Jack, says the sweetness of the sugar cane symbolizes, in essence, a “sweet year” ahead.
Besides luck, the sugar cane also provides a tasty seasonal treat – all you need is a good set of choppers, Jack chuckled.
Peeling the purple-hued stalk reveals a pulpy white flesh that can be cut into bite-sized pieces, then chewed raw to release a sweet juice.
The fibrous substance, or pith, is an indigestible cellulose that cannot be swallowed – so be prepared to spit it out.
Another way to use a sugar cane is to peel, cut and boil it into a sugary syrup.
Or, for the more adventurous cooks, wrap ground pork, beef or shrimp around raw (halved, length-wise) stalks then bake or grill.