A few weeks ago I bought a jar of molasses, not so much because I knew what it was, but because it seems to be a staple of BBQ cooking. I always thought of it as a sort of sugar based version of honey, thick and sweet. I have vague recollections of my father putting it on his pancakes when I was a kid.
A quick check on wikipedia gave a pretty good description. Molasses is a by product from the processing of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. The word is derived from the Portuguese word "melaco" which come from mel, the Portuguese word for honey. Some common uses of molasses are gingerbread, gingersnaps and other desserts. Plain molasses has a really sharp taste to it so I would say it is not really suited for eating as is. At least not the kind I bought anyway. There a couple grades of molasses ranging from 1st grade (sweeter) to Blackstrap (more bitter). For more details on molasses go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molasses
I bring this up only because my upcoming baked bean recipe will contain molasses and I had purchased this dark syrup product without having any idea as to what it was and what it should be used for.
In other news, I have completed my first dessert recipe that I have dubbed "peanut bombs." They are in the fridge right now cooling down, but I will be posting the results and recipe later on.