We stopped by Ocean State Job Lots the other day and I was surprised (and pleased) to find Madhava Agave Nectar - a sweetener created from the nectar of the wild agave plant (same plant that is used to make tequila). I ran into this stuff up at Kripalu over the winter; I figure if it's good enough for the yogis up there.....
Acording the to the website:
Because Agave Nectar is high in fructose, it enjoys all the benefits which continue to make fructose a preferred sweetening agent. It is sweeter than refined sugar (approximately 1.4 times sweeter); in fact, fructose offers an equivalent sweetness for nearly half the amount of carbohydrate calories. Fructose does not stimulate digestive insulin secretion as do other sugars. It is less disturbing to the glycemic index. In common parlance, it does not create a “sugar rush.”
Interesting stuff. And while agave is not locally grown or native, it is a nice alternative to refined sugar.