Molasses, in fact, isn’t very slow. At least not compared to my preconceived ideas about it, having heard the idiom “slow as molasses” all my life.
I first had occasion to cook with molasses about a year ago. I was making my first from-scratch BBQ sauce, a delicious Memphis-sweet concoction with liquid smoke, brown sugar and molasses (and other ingredients I shall not divulge ;). When I grabbed the molasses I was prepared for a honey-esque pour. What I got was very different. The room-temperature molasses shot out of that jar like … well, not like molasses. It quickly filled the tablespoon and overflowed into the bowl.
I’ve since learned that refrigerated molasses is somewhat slower than that, but neither version compares to my preconceived notions.
Slow as molasses? Not so much.
I could have gotten mad that I’d ruined the recipe. Reality didn’t quite jibe with the things I’d been taught, the things I thought I knew. I’d spent 35 years believing molasses was slow, I’d even used the phrase “slow as molasses” to describe people and things. Was this a sinister plot perpetrated by George Soros or the Koch brothers?
How could this be?
The answer is easy, I grew up in North Jersey surrounded on all sides by Jews and Italians. Not a lot of molasses happenings in the suburbs of New York. When I finally had occasion to cook with molasses I realised that I had strongly believed in it’s lack of speed based upon things I had been told rather than something I had experienced.
The experience has obviously made me a better chef, but it’s also made me a better person because it’s helped me to recognise that the things I “know” may not be accurate.
Indeed, I’m that much more open-minded and apt to listen to things with which I disagree.