Dobyns and Martin, Grocers

1602 Pious Ridge Rd.
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

304-258-2070


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Updated 6/2/2017.
All text and images copyright Dobyns and Martin.

Website design and maintenance:
K L Martz

 

Each Grocery item comes packaged in a manner reproducing 18th century packaging using contemporary images and extant examples, whether packaged in paper packets, cloth bags, or glass or earthenware containers.


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The Sugars
(Syrups are found on the Oilman page)



Brown, caster, and muscovado sugars;
lump sugar and sugar loaf

"A sweet juice extracted out of canes growing in the West Indies, which being bruised and pressed are put into vessels, where the liquor is boiled 7 times, till it is brought to a consistence, by means of lemon juice." (John Nott, 1726)

Honey was not commonly used in the colonies as a sweetener simply because the taste of sugar was preferred.

Caster Sugar
2 oz, $1.75
1 lb, $6.50

Used in cooking when the finest sugar is needed; scraped off the sugar loaf and ground in a mortar. This is NOT modern confectioners' sugar.
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Muscovada/Muscovado Sugar
4 oz, $1.20
1 lb, $2.50

Coarse, brown crystals of minimally processed sugar. Good for kitchen use.

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  Brown Sugar
2 oz, $.75
1 lb, $2.75

Similar to muscovado, except slightly lighter in colour
and harder; further whitened by removing impurities.

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Loaf and Lump Sugar

Double-refined, in blue paper wrap.

"The purple paper 'round loaf sugar boiled in cider or vinegar in an iron pot with a small bit of alum make a fine purple slate color..." (John Pearson)

Sugar was purchased in tall conical loaves. Pieces were cut from them with special sugar-cutting implements. Well-to-do households bought whole sugar loaves, but smaller quantities could be purchased from the apothecaries (originally sugar was treated as a spice), and later from apothecaries and grocers. Loaf sugar is suitable for use in cooking and baking without being clarified further (boiled to remove scum).

Sugar Loaves may not be available for immediate shipment: The Grocery refines the sugar properly and makes the loaves using 18th-century techniques, and the curing process is very time-consuming. If you have an urgent need, especially for the larger sizes, please contact Jen for estimated delivery. Availability is subject to current stock and current stage of processing.

Brown sugar in a cone shape was non-existent in Western Europe and the colonies.
The process of refining sugar was to remove the molasses and other impurities and leave a clean white sugar. One of the steps in the whitening process was to place the unrefined sugar in a cone with a hole at the bottom to drain out the impurities.

Mexican candies known as Piloncillo, Panela or Panocha Cane Sugar
have been and are still offered as loaf sugar. Buyer beware!

Loaf Sugar
1.5 lb, $9.50

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Loaf Sugar
3 lb, $13.00

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Loaf Sugar
8 lb, $25.00

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Lump Sugar
Irregular lumps cut off sugar loaves
2 oz, $3.50

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Our newest addition to the Sugars:

The Faux Sugar Loaf

Our faux sugar loaf looks like the real 1.5-lb. loaf. Great for long-term displays!

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