In 18th century, and up until the late 19th century, sugar was supplied in bullet-shaped brick form — or loaves — like a much larger version of today’s sugar cube. It had to be broken up and ground into a usable form with mortar and pestle. We now have refined sugar in regular granulated, fine, superfine and powdered forms.

In Escoffier recipes calling for loaf sugar, use regular granulated sugar. For recipes calling for caster sugar, use fine or superfine.