23 trees first day's runnings, at 10 seers each .. .. 5 30 23 „ second )9 4 2 12 23 „ third 71 2 7, Total juice per diem from 69 trees .. .. 9 8 (758 lb.) — This refers only to the juice exuding during the night, and collected early in the morniog, from which alone sugar is made. It is sometimes customary, with trees which bear well, to collect what may run from them during the day ; but as rapid fermentation takes place soon after sunrise, the day-juice is unfitted for crystallization into goor, and is boiled up only for sale as molasses. This practice, however, is fax from general, and, at the ordinary market rate for molasses, barely repays the labour required. The gauchea commences collecting the juice a little before daybreak; as soon as a sufficient nurnber of pots are collected to commence a boiling, they are carried to the boiling hut. The emptied pots from the trees are ranged OD the ground iu rows of about 20 each, with their mouths downwards over a layer of straw or dry leaves ; the latter is then set fire to, and gives the pots a thorough smoking, covering their inner surface with an even black coat. The object of this is to prevent acidity, which would set up fermentation in the fresh juice, were any of that from the previous night allowed to taint the vessel, but which is neutralized hy the alkaline salts contained in the smoke. As an additional slice is pared from the face of the incisions in the trees once every 7th day, this forms towards the end of the season a very deep notch, reaching some times nearly half through the trunk. Each succeeding year the trees are cut on opposite sides, so that they have, where a few years old, a deformed zigzag appearance.
Boiling the Juice.—This is conducted in 4 shallow earthen pans, about 2 ft. diain. and 1 ft. deep, set in a square furnace, formed by digging a hole in the ground, and raising a mud structure over it, about 6 ft. sq., in the dome of which are cut the 4 holes in which the pans are set. A hole on one side for feeding the fire, and on the other for the escape of the smoke, completes the arrange ment of the furnace ; over this, a light roof is usually thrown, supported by bamboos, and thatched with the dried leaves of the date-tree, as a partial shelter from the sun and rain, though the latter is unusual during the season when the work is in progress. The fuel used is the soondry wood, with which the date districts are all more or less easily supplied from the neighbouring Sunder bunds, assisted by the dried leaves of the date-tree itself.
The 4 pans are kept about half-full of date-juice, and as the contents diminish by evaporation, fresh juice is supplied, until each is sufficiently filled to complete the boiling into goor without further addition. Up to this point, skimming goes on, and the small end of a date-tree leaf is kept floatiug in each pan, as it is believed to assist the clarification, though probably a mere fancy. No lime nor other alkali is used : the juice is simply boiled until it arrives at its proper granulating consistency, which is known to the natives by long practice, from the appearance of its tenacity when allowed to drop from the end of a stick, and from its colour and appearance while boiling. The juice, as brought frona the trees, is clean, white, and transparent, resembling that of the coconut, both in appearance and taste, though much sweeter. These qualities give it a decided
advantage over the juice of the sugar-cane, it being quite uncontaminated with feculencies, the separation of which from cane-juice causes so much trouble. The skimmings from the boiling of date-goor are consequently trifling, and probably consist principally of vegetable albumen. They are turned to no useful puipose.
The boiling occupies 5-6 hours with each pan, and as soon as it is complete, the goor is ladled iuto a vessel near. If it is intended for immediate sale to the moyrah (sugar-maker), this vessel is a long jar-shaped earthen pot, holding 2 seers to maund,—the size and form varying much. If the pots are large, they are not filled at mme, but the boilings of several days are poured in successively, so that 3, 4, or more pots are filled simultaneously, and contain layers slightly varyiug io quality, though the average in all is the same. A great deal of goor is, however, converted by tho ryots themselves into a description of sugar called nauncl-dulloah, in which case the boiling is not carried to so high a point; and this allows it to form a larger crystal, and to part with its molasses more freely. Iu such case, it is ladled at once from the beiling-pans into a largo nound (conical-shaped vessel) holding 2-3 maunds, and in this it is cured and drained in the simplest possible manner.
lieturns,—Dry cold weather is most favourable for the date-juice, both as to its quality and yield; the goor-manufacturing season in Bengal extends on the avemge over 3i months, from let November to 15th February. Little is made earlier than the former date, and such is generally of small grain, and inferior ; any made later than mid-February is of soft grain, and contains an undue proportion of rnolasses. Occasionally the warm weather sets in earlier, and cuts short further goor-making, though if there be a good fall of rain, this is followed hy a temporary return of cold nights: the goor season may then be said to commence anew, and very fair produce ie obtained even in the first days of March. The finest yield is in December-January, during the coldest part of the season ; and on the whole, the estimate of 3i months (107 days) is the time occupied by au average season. In estimating the yield of good goor for a season, 4- of the total should be deducted for the diminution eaused by unpropitious weather. Thus, 160 trees yielding 9 mounds 8 seers of juice per diem throughout the season, multiplied by 107 days, and allowing I deduction for loss by variations of the weather, leaves bazar mds.787-20-13 (56,964 lb.) as the nett produce in juice for the season, and this, divided over 160 trees, gives Inds. 4-36-4 (356 lb.) as the average total produce of juice from each tree. The proportion of goor obtained from date-juice averages by weight, and the density of the latter does not appear to vary nearly so much RS that of cane-juice. At this average, the yield by the above calculation from 160 trees would be bazar Inds. 78-30 (5702 lb.) of goor, or nearly 19f seers from each tree, or 49 maunds 8f seers (3554 lb.) per 100 trees per annum.