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"Guarapo" redirects here. For the palm-tree sap also known as guarapo, see Miel de palma
Getting the sugar cane juice with a machine.
Or, with a hand press.
Garapa (var. Guarapa) is the Brazilian Portuguese term for the juice of raw sugar cane (in some Southern states garapa is better known as "caldo de cana" (cane juice). Also known as "guarapo", "guarapo de caña" or "jugo de guarapo" in various dialects of Spanish, it is very popular in other tropical countries of Latin America as well. Sugar cane juice is especially popular among the Cuban expatriate community in Miamimarker, where it is found in abundance at many locations in Little Havanamarker. Sugar cane juice is obtained by crushing peeled sugar cane in a small hand- or electric mill. The drink is often served cold with a squeeze of lemon or key lime (in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba), pineapple (Brazil), passionfruit and ginger. Due to its high sugar content it is rich in calories. Garapa juice is the primary source of sugar cane derivatives such as raw sugar (obtained by evaporation and refining), cachaça or "caninha" and ethanol. Sugar cane juice or "ganne ka ras" is one of the most widely consumed drink in Indiamarker


The origin of the word is unclear. There are two hypotheses:

  1. African origin, it means "fermented drink" in West Africa, and was brought into Brazil and the rest of Latin America by slave from Cabo Verdemarker islands, then to the Madeiramarker islands.
  2. Tupí-Guaraní origin, from guarab, meaning a fermented drink laced with honey

In Brazilian Portuguese, garapa is also used figuratively as meaning a good thing, easy to get. Garapa doida (crazy garapa) is also the name given to cachaça in the Amazon region.

In Paraguay, guaripola or simply guari is reserved for the alcoholic beverage, and mosto for the fresh, non-fermented sugar cane juice. As a further differentiation, retailers use to call mosto helado (ice-cold mosto) to the non-industrial, ready-to-drink, road-side or bar variety.

Health risk in rural areas

When prepared in rural areas, raw sugar cane juice can be a health risk to drinkers, mostly because of the unhygienic conditions under which it is prepared in these areas. Since it is very sugary, it is an ideal culture medium to all kinds of microorganisms, so it should not be stored outside a refrigerator. In fact, it is almost always consumed as a freshly prepared drink. Pasteurization is required if the juice is to be bottled and sold as such, and a date of validity should be stamped on the container.

Garapa has been recently involved in a widely publicized episode in the state of Santa Catarinamarker, Brazilmarker, when at least 49 tourists were infected with Chagas disease by drinking garapa most likely produced at roadside stalls. The sugar cane used for it most probably was contaminated with feces of the insect vector, a Reduviid.

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