Why is 'Chini' called Chinese? - by Ankit Mishra - CollectLo

Why is 'Chini' called Chinese?

Ankit Mishra - CollectLo

Ankit Mishra

Content Writer

2 min read . Jun 04


Without the sweet taste of sugar, human life would be dull. It neither provides any vitamins nor any special minerals, despite this everyone is addicted to the sweetness of sugar.

Nowadays, anyone can buy sugar, but sugar was once called white gold. White granulated sugar can be made from sugarcane and beetroot. At one time, sugar was so expensive that only businessmen and kings could afford it.

The process of making sugar from sugarcane was invented in India and its information is given in the Ayurvedic text 'Charak Samhita' written in the seventh century BC. Kautilya's Arthashashtra also mentions 5 types of sugar including jaggery and sugar candy. There is no other description of making sugar as old as this in the world.

It was from India that sugar reached other countries of the world. In India it was described as shak and sharq, then what does it mean to China?

Actually, it was used in India - shakti, which is different from sugar. Sugar was made by heating the juice of sugarcane and then drying it. White-transparent and granulated sugar has a deep connection with China. In the memoirs of Italian merchant, explorer and ambassador Marco Polo in the 13th century, it is mentioned that the emperor of China, Kublai Khan, had called artisans from Egypt, who taught the people of China to make granulated sugar.

Since this technique was brought to India from China during the Mughal period, the sugar made from this process was called 'chinee'. This name became so popular for white sugar that white granulated sugar reached every household. The record of setting up the first sugar mills in India is found in 1610.

Sugar may not contain much vitamins and minerals, but it has been used for diarrhea, vomiting, fever and cough. Not only this, it has been used in Europe to heal wounds and injuries. Just remember, if sugar is eaten in small quantity, it gives taste and if eaten in large quantity, it is a storehouse of diseases. (All Photos Credit- Canva)