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Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave, including the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana), Salmiana Agave (Agave salmiana), Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave. Agave nectar is sweeter than honey, though less viscous.
Agave nectar is said by one supplier to be 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar. Agave nectar is often substituted for sugar or honey in recipes. Many Vegans in particular commonly use agave nectar to replace honey in recipes. It is also used as a sweetener for cold beverages such as iced tea because it dissolves quickly.
Agave nectar is sold in light, amber, dark, and raw varieties. Light agave nectar has a mild, almost neutral flavor, and is therefore sometimes used in delicate tasting foods and drinks. Amber agave nectar has a medium-intensity caramel flavor, and is therefore used in foods and drinks with stronger flavors. Dark agave nectar has stronger caramel notes, and imparts a distinct flavor to dishes, such as some desserts, poultry, meat, and seafood dishes. Both amber and dark agave nectar are sometimes used "straight out of the bottle" as a topping for pancakes and waffles. Raw agave nectar also has a mild, neutral taste. It is produced at temperatures below 118°F (48°C) to protect the natural enzymes, so this variety is an appropriate sweetener for raw foodists.