A sugarloaf was the traditional form, a tall gently-tapering cylinder with a conical tophttp://www.mkmuseum.org.uk/edu/cep/sc/photogallery.html, in which refined sugar was exported from the Caribbean and eastern Brazil from the 17th to 19th centuries.
- ''"...households bought their white sugar in tall, conical
loaves, from which pieces were broken off with special iron
Shaped something like very large heavy pliers with sharp blades
attached to the cutting sides, these cutters had to be strong and
tough, because the loaves were large, about 14 inches in diameter
at the base, and 3 feet high [15th century]...In those days, sugar
was used with great care, and one loaf lasted a long time. The
weight would probably have been about 30 lb. Later, the weight of a
loaf varied from 5 lb to 35 lb, according to the moulds used by any
one refinery. A common size was 14 lb, but the finest sugar from
Madeira came in small loaves of only 3 or 4 lb in weight...Up till
late Victorian times household sugar remained very little changed
and sugar loaves were still common and continued so until well into
the twentieth century..."''
- "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", Elizabeth David [Penguin:Middlesex] 1977 (p. 139)
Today, such loaves are still common in some parts of Europe, especially in Germany where small loaves are a required ingredient for the holiday season drink Feuerzangenbowle.
ReferencesDavid, Elizabeth. "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", [Penguin:Middlesex] 1977 (p. 139)
sugarloaf in Dutch: Suikerbrood
sugarloaf in Norwegian Nynorsk: Sugarloaf