Sorghum is a field crop that looks like a cross between corn and wheat. It is tall with a thick stalk like corn; instead of tassles and corn cobs, it has thick bunches of sorghum berries (look like wheat berries).
Sorghum is large export crop for the US for purposes of making animal feed and milling into flour. Sorghum flour is poplar in Africa and Asian it’s gluten free.
The sorghum crop is very versatile and is usually grown on a much larger scale than my producer in Homerville. He grows it for several purposes. First, his family uses the stalks to make syrup, which is a sweetener they use in place of sugar. Second, the sorghum berries aregood for chicken feed. Third, the sorghum plant has extensive roots that help break up the soil and works as a great cover crop in rotation.
We sell the sweetener version, which is very popular in the South and Appalachia. It is served in place of maple syrup on pancakes, in grits/porridge, and over biscuits. and its made in a way very similar to maple syrup. The stalk of the sorghum plant is harvested and pushed through a cane mill, similar to a sugar cane. The cane mill essentially crushes the stalk and squeezes the syrup out of the stalk. A messy pulp is then brought to a boil where the fibers can be filtered out. The remaining fluid is cooked in an evaporator pan. This boils off the water and produces s a very dense, sweet syrup.
If it “seizes up”: like raw honey or maple syrup, sorghum has a tendency to seize up in cold environments and over time. This is essentially the product going back to its natural state of preservation.
The best way to bring sorghum (or honey or syrup) back to life is to gently heat the product back up. Fill a pot with water deep enough that the jar can be completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil and remove from the stove. Place the jar of sorghum gently in the pot and cover the pot with a kitchen towel to trap in the heat. Allow the jar to rest in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
By this time, the sorghum should be liquid again. If it is not, repeat this process. Be careful when putting the glass jar on a hot surface like the bottom of a hot pan. It may crack the glass. A good preventive measure is to put a canning rack (if you have a canner rack) or some mason jar lids on the bottom of the pot so that the glass jar does not sit directly on the hot surface.