History of palm sugar is thought to be indigenous where it is currently distributed. It is thought to have originated in Indonesia, but is now widely distributed through Southeast Asia, Southern China, India, Sri Lanka, New Guinea, and Guam. The predominant sources of palm sugar are the palmyra, date, nipa, sugar and coconut palms.
Palmyra palm is grown in Africa, Asia, and New Guinea. The tree has many uses, such as thatching, hatmaking, timber, use as a writing material, and in food products, whilst palm sugar is produced from sap from the flowers.
Date palm is common in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Date palms are cultivated mainly for dates, whilst palm sugar is made from the tree’s sap.
Nipa palm is native to the coastlines and tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the only palm tree that grows in a watery mangrove biome. Only its leaves and flowers grow above water. Palm sugar is made from the sugar-rich sap.
Sugar palm is native to the coastal and tropical regions of Asia, mainly China, Malaysia and Indonesia. The sap used to produce palm sugar is known in Indonesia as gula aren.
Coconut palm grows in coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Major suppliers are Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.