Here follows what Thomas Moffet had to say about the subject of Sugar
(Chap. XXVI. pp 250-251)
Sugar or Suchar is
but a sweet, or (as the Ancients term it) an Indian Salt. The best Sugar is
made of the tears or liquor of Sugar canes, replenished so with juice that they
crack againe. Other sorts are made of the Canes themselves finely cut, and
boiled so long in water, till all their gumminess gather together at the
bottome, as Salt doth in Cheshire at Nantwich. The best Sugar is hard, solid,
light, exceeding white and sweet, glistring like snow, close and not spungy,
melting (as salt doth) very speedily in any liquor. Such cometh from Madera in little loaves, of three or four
pound weight apeece: from whence also we have a courser sort of Sugarloves,
weighing seven, eight, nine or ten pounds apeece, not fully so good for
candying fruits, but better for syrups and Kitchin uses.
Barbary and CanarySugar is next to that, containing twelve, sixteen and seventeen l. weight in a loafe. But your common and course Sugar (called commonly St. OmersSugar) is white without, and brown within, of a most gluish substance, altogether unfit for candying or preserving, but serving well enough for common syrups and seasoning of meat.
Of the pouder of which Sugar our cunning Refiners make such white and glorious Sugar in shew, that albeit it be neither sweet, light nor kindly, yet they feel an unspeakable sweetness by that art, or rather trade, or rather mystery, or rather (if I am not mistaken) flat couzenage and apparent knavery.
Concerning the uses of this worthy and sweet Salt; they are many and good. For whereas hony is hurtful to cholerick complexions, Sugar is incommodious or hurtful unto none; yea it is so mild and temperate, that Galen doth not disallow it to be given in agues. Furthermore it nourisheth very plentifully, yea it maketh many things to become exceeding good meat (by conditing, preserving and conserving) as Citrons, Limons, Orenges, Nutmegs, Ginger & such like, which of their own nature do rather hinder nourishment and procure leanness. Besides this, it delighteth the stomach, pleaseth the blood and liver, cleanseth the brest, restoreth the lungs (especially being candied) taketh away hoarseness, and asswageth drought in all agues, giving also no small ease to enflamed kidneys, and to bladders molested with sharpness of urine.
Sugar keepeth Children from engendring of worms, but being engendred, maketh them stir.
It were infinite to reherse the necessary use of it in making of good gellies, cullises, mortesses, white-broths, and restorative pies and mixtures: which sith cooks do and ought chiefly to practice, I will not further usurpe upon their province; onely say, Sugar never marred sawce.
from Healths improvement; or, Rules comprising and discovering the nature, method, and manner of preparing all sorts of food used in this nation. 1655.