Sorghum in America

by Rena

Sorghum was introduced to the American colonies in the early 1600s by African slaves from the Gulf of Guinea, but the wild plant had its origins before the Christian era. Sweet sorghum has been widely cultivated in the U.S. since the 1850s for use as a sweetener. Sweet sorghum syrup tastes like a lighter version of molasses.



The Maasdam family of Maasdam Sorghum Mills in Lynnville, Iowa demonstrated making sorgham via a horse-powered mill at the Old Threshers Reunion. Stalks of sorghum grow like corn, but are about 10-15 feet in height. It is harvested in September by first removing the leaves and then cutting the stalks. The stalks are then milled and the green juice of the stalks is strained and cooked down into a thick brown sweet syrup.



The stalks are then milled and the green juice of the stalks are strained and cooked down into a thick brown sweet syrup.

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Sorghum festivals in the U.S.

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