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Jaggery, rapadura and panela are very similar ingredients according to their Wikipedia articles. However, jaggery can be made from not only sugarcane but also palm sap.

Is there a difference between sugarcane jaggery, rapadura, and panela? The jaggery article implies they are the same thing, the rapadura article does not mention jaggery or panela, and the panela article implied that rapadura is the same as panela but not exactly the same as jaggery:

Common Spanish names: chancaca, papelón, piloncillo, panocha, rapadura, atado dulce or empanizao. In India and Pakistan a similar product is made which is called gur or jaggery. In Brazil, it is known as rapadura.

I am most familiar with panela and have replaced it with Mexican piloncillo without noticing a big difference. I would like to know if I could easily use panela or piloncillo instead of jaggery in a recipe.

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Can you be more specific? The differences seem pretty well outlined at the articles you linked to. –  daniel Oct 22 '10 at 14:33
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Each article clearly defines what each of these items is but I don't think the differences are well outlined. As I mentioned in the question, the articles conflict on whether they are the same thing or not. I just want to know if there is a concrete difference between sugarcane jaggery, rapadura, and panela besides their place of origin. –  Jaime Soto Oct 22 '10 at 16:19
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If your question is if we can, the answer is yes. Rapadura = brown sugar tablet. The brown sugar is very similar to panela and jaggery.

The difference is the source of raw material, and the origin of the country where it is processed obtain the sugar. Jaggery is in Asia, brown sugar and panela or rapadura in many Latin American countries.

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