Madeira Sugar Cane History

Sugar Cane and Madeira Island

Sugar Cane and Madeira Island

Apr 08, 2020

Sugar Cane and Madeira Island

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

The origin of the sugar cane

Sugarcane as a crop emerged somewhere in Papua New Guinea about 12,000 years ago.

Since then, this culture has spread to India, where the first techniques for transforming sugar cane juice into sugar crystals were verified (between the 1st and 4th centuries AD). It was from this area in Asia that the cultivation of sugar cane was brought to the general area of the Mediterranean by the hand of the Arabs. These brought it to the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Egypt and Sicily, together with knowledge of the processing techniques of this raw material (the word sugar itself comes from the Arabic word as-sukkar).

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

Sugar in Madeira

The archipelago of Madeira was officially discovered in 1419, although it was well documented well before that (see the island's presence in Portulano de Dulcert in 1339 and the reference to the Fortunate Islands or the Purpura Islands in the Roman period).

The cultivation of sugar cane was already established, due to the Islamic expansion in its various phases, in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean regions, such as the island of Sicily.

With the efforts of Portuguese expansion, we see a shift from sugar cane cultivation from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic space, centred in Madeira Island.

The cultivation of sugar cane arises in Madeira by the will of Infante Dom Henrique. The first Duke of Viseu proved to be an important influence figure in Portuguese expansion actions overseas. It is he who orders the first sugarcane clogs to come from the Island of Sicily (some historians, however, argue whether the first sugarcane crops might not have come from Valencia or even the Algarve, however the Sicilian thesis is the most accepted).

The first plantation in Funchal takes place in a field belonging to Infante, Campo do Duque, in 1425.

The island has good conditions for the production of cane and its product, sugar: it is abundant in water and has enough wood from the forest that can easily feed the mills.

The institution of the cultivation of sugar cane in order to produce sugar, spice (or at the height of the 15th century, considered as such), which was already highly sought after in European courts of the time and of a particularly high value, contributed to the scourge that is the phenomenon of slavery. Guanche slaves from the neighbouring Canaries were immediately imported (the guanches are natives of the Canary Islands, ethnically related to the North African Berber peoples) and later black slaves from the coast of Guinea. Apparently it is in Madeira that, in the context of sugar production, black slave labor was applied for the first time. The colonial system of sugar production is put into practice on the island of Madeira, on a much smaller scale, and will be successively applied, on a large scale, in other overseas production areas, as is the greatest example of Brazil.

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

After the first cane plantation in Funchal, the cane crops are taken to the Machico area, where the first sugar measures are produced. Most cane fields are distributed along the south coast of Madeira Island, on the Captaincy of Funchal, especially in the areas of Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol (one of the biggest cane fields was Lombada dos Esmeraldos, belonging to João Esmeraldo, nobleman of Flemish origin) and Calheta.

The construction of the first mills sees sugar production explode. In 1500 Madeira was the largest sugar exporter in the world. Its sugar was considered to be of superior quality and much appreciated in the Portuguese Court, England and Flanders. Madeiran production was in strong competition with sugar from the Mediterranean (Sicily, Morocco and Egypt).

The island sees an influx of traders from all over the known world (Flemish, Italian, English, etc.).

Flanders traders, in particular, exchanged sugar for Flemish works of art such as the altar painting and the decorated wooden ceiling of the Cathedral of Funchal and many of the works of art found in the Sacred Art Museum

The popularity of the sugar produced in Madeira was so great that it was included in the alms given to monasteries, hospitals and mercies in the Portuguese domain at the time, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in Northern Africa.

The sugar production techniques used in Madeira were initially similar to those used in the Mediterranean territory, that is, the mills used animal power (oxen). Later, one of the island's assets, water, was used. The water mill and the trapiche are then used (usually a mill of cylinders used to grind cane, with horizontal or vertical axes, moved by animals or even by men).

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

The sugar production process, in a very basic way, is as follows:

• Sugarcane is harvested and ground within the first 48 hours (this has to do with the level of sucrose that is lost the more time that elapses from the moment of harvest).

• In the mill, juice and bagasse are extracted.

• Sugarcane juice is cooked in boilers, filtered from impurities and concentrated in pans until it reaches the consistency of honey. The honey is beaten to the point of crystallization of the sugar.

• The sugar is then broken and cooked again for the purpose of refining, being placed in conical shapes known as pão de açúcar (see image below).

• Finally, the sugar is purged of the honey that could remain through washing.

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

Eventually, after this first boom experienced in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the decline in sugar production on the island appears. This crisis occurs in the second half of the 16th century and has several causes. Sugarcane on the island begins to show disease and, at the same time, there is also a strong competition from new producing territories: Canaries, São Tomé and, mainly, Brazil. Sugar production declines in such a way that it is not enough for domestic needs, being imported to the island sugar from São Tomé and Brazil. Sugar mills (formerly in large numbers, although no one is able to specify how many) are gradually abandoned, with few remaining.

In view of this context, this culture loses importance to another very striking one for the island: wine.

But it is through the decline in wine production and marketing that sugar cane makes its "comeback". This happens with the advent of the 19th century.

Water and steam engines are reborn. Sugar is produced, namely by the famous Hinton & C.a factory (until its closure in 1985) and some others. But the famous cane rum (the most important element of the poncha) is produced also and, eventually, another Madeiran gastronomic heritage: sugarcane honey.

This small rebirth of the sugar cane lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century when restrictions gradually raised to the production of rum by the mills (which were limited not only in the production of the drink but in its very existence as factories). This happened because a public health problem was becoming evident, caused by the excessive consumption of this highly alcoholic drink.

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

We see a new sugar cane twilight in Madeira. There is a new abandonment of this cultivation, which is replaced by the banana tree in the south of the island. In the North, since there is not the same substitution culture, there is an abandonment of agricultural land and consequent emigration waves with the young population leaving.

The mills that are left to us today are heirs of this long history that begins almost simultaneously with the settlement of the island. These include Engenho Novo da Madeira, Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta, Engenhos do Norte and the Mel-de-Cana Ribeiro Sêco de V. Melim Factory (one of the oldest). These are mostly dedicated to the production of Rum / Aguardente and sugar cane honey, both of which are so present in our gastronomic and cultural rituals.

 

Madeira Sugar Cane History

 

It is not possible to equate the History of Madeira without bearing in mind the fundamental importance of sugar culture in it. It was the sugar that allowed the effective settlement of the island and it was the sugar that determined its great influence in the overseas territories of the young Portuguese empire.

Madeira Island and Sugar will be interconnected forever.

 

 

 

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Piracy, Privateers and the development of Funchal
Piracy, Privateers and the development of Funchal
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> </head> <body> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar Cane and Madeira Island</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (10).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"> </h4> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">The origin of the sugar cane</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sugarcane as a crop emerged somewhere in Papua New Guinea about 12,000 years ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Since then, this culture has spread to India, where the first techniques for transforming sugar cane juice into sugar crystals were verified (between the 1st and 4th centuries AD). It was from this area in Asia that the cultivation of sugar cane was brought to the general area of the Mediterranean by the hand of the Arabs. These brought it to the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Egypt and Sicily, together with knowledge of the processing techniques of this raw material (the word sugar itself comes from the Arabic word <em>as-sukkar</em>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (7).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar in Madeira</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">The archipelago of Madeira was officially discovered in 1419, although it was well documented well before that (see the island's presence in <em>Portulano de Dulcert</em> in 1339 and the reference to the <em>Fortunate Islands</em> or the<em> Purpura Islands</em> in the Roman period).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane was already established, due to the Islamic expansion in its various phases, in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean regions, such as the island of Sicily.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the efforts of Portuguese expansion, we see a shift from sugar cane cultivation from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic space, centred in Madeira Island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane arises in Madeira by the will of Infante Dom Henrique. The first Duke of Viseu proved to be an important influence figure in Portuguese expansion actions overseas. It is he who orders the first sugarcane clogs to come from the Island of Sicily (some historians, however, argue whether the first sugarcane crops might not have come from Valencia or even the Algarve, however the Sicilian thesis is the most accepted).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first plantation in Funchal takes place in a field belonging to Infante, Campo do Duque, in 1425.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island has good conditions for the production of cane and its product, sugar: it is abundant in water and has enough wood from the forest that can easily feed the mills.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The institution of the cultivation of sugar cane in order to produce sugar, spice (or at the height of the 15th century, considered as such), which was already highly sought after in European courts of the time and of a particularly high value, contributed to the scourge that is the phenomenon of slavery. Guanche slaves from the neighbouring Canaries were immediately imported (the guanches are natives of the Canary Islands, ethnically related to the North African Berber peoples) and later black slaves from the coast of Guinea. Apparently it is in Madeira that, in the context of sugar production, black slave labor was applied for the first time. The colonial system of sugar production is put into practice on the island of Madeira, on a much smaller scale, and will be successively applied, on a large scale, in other overseas production areas, as is the greatest example of Brazil.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (9).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the first cane plantation in Funchal, the cane crops are taken to the Machico area, where the first sugar measures are produced. Most cane fields are distributed along the south coast of Madeira Island, on the Captaincy of Funchal, especially in the areas of Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol (one of the biggest cane fields was Lombada dos Esmeraldos, belonging to João Esmeraldo, nobleman of Flemish origin) and Calheta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The construction of the first mills sees sugar production explode. In 1500 Madeira was the largest sugar exporter in the world. Its sugar was considered to be of superior quality and much appreciated in the Portuguese Court, England and Flanders. Madeiran production was in strong competition with sugar from the Mediterranean (Sicily, Morocco and Egypt).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island sees an influx of traders from all over the known world (Flemish, Italian, English, etc.).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Flanders traders, in particular, exchanged sugar for Flemish works of art such as the altar painting and the decorated wooden ceiling of the Cathedral of Funchal and many of the works of art found in the <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sacred-art-museum">Sacred Art Museum</a></strong>. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The popularity of the sugar produced in Madeira was so great that it was included in the alms given to monasteries, hospitals and mercies in the Portuguese domain at the time, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in Northern Africa.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production techniques used in Madeira were initially similar to those used in the Mediterranean territory, that is, the mills used animal power (oxen). Later, one of the island's assets, water, was used. The water mill and the trapiche are then used (usually a mill of cylinders used to grind cane, with horizontal or vertical axes, moved by animals or even by men).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (5).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production process, in a very basic way, is as follows:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane is harvested and ground within the first 48 hours (this has to do with the level of sucrose that is lost the more time that elapses from the moment of harvest).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• In the mill, juice and bagasse are extracted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane juice is cooked in boilers, filtered from impurities and concentrated in pans until it reaches the consistency of honey. The honey is beaten to the point of crystallization of the sugar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• The sugar is then broken and cooked again for the purpose of refining, being placed in conical shapes known as pão de açúcar (see image below).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Finally, the sugar is purged of the honey that could remain through washing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (3).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eventually, after this first boom experienced in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the decline in sugar production on the island appears. This crisis occurs in the second half of the 16th century and has several causes. Sugarcane on the island begins to show disease and, at the same time, there is also a strong competition from new producing territories: Canaries, São Tomé and, mainly, Brazil. Sugar production declines in such a way that it is not enough for domestic needs, being imported to the island sugar from São Tomé and Brazil. <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sugar-cane-museum">Sugar mills</a></strong> (formerly in large numbers, although no one is able to specify how many) are gradually abandoned, with few remaining.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In view of this context, this culture loses importance to another very striking one for the island:<strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/madeira-wine-museum"> wine.</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But it is through the decline in wine production and marketing that sugar cane makes its "comeback". This happens with the advent of the 19th century.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Water and steam engines are reborn. Sugar is produced, namely by the famous Hinton & C.a factory (until its closure in 1985) and some others. But the<strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-sugarcane-aguardente"> famous cane rum</a></strong> (the most important element of the <strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-poncha">poncha</a></strong>) is produced also and, eventually, another Madeiran gastronomic heritage: sugarcane honey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This small rebirth of the sugar cane lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century when restrictions gradually raised to the production of rum by the mills (which were limited not only in the production of the drink but in its very existence as factories). This happened because a public health problem was becoming evident, caused by the excessive consumption of this highly alcoholic drink.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (4).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We see a new sugar cane twilight in Madeira. There is a new abandonment of this cultivation, which is replaced by the banana tree in the south of the island. In the North, since there is not the same substitution culture, there is an abandonment of agricultural land and consequent emigration waves with the young population leaving.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The mills that are left to us today are heirs of this long history that begins almost simultaneously with the settlement of the island. These include Engenho Novo da Madeira, Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta, Engenhos do Norte and the Mel-de-Cana Ribeiro Sêco de V. Melim Factory (one of the oldest). These are mostly dedicated to the production of Rum / Aguardente and sugar cane honey, both of which are so present in our gastronomic and cultural rituals.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (8).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is not possible to equate the History of Madeira without bearing in mind the fundamental importance of sugar culture in it. It was the sugar that allowed the effective settlement of the island and it was the sugar that determined its great influence in the overseas territories of the young Portuguese empire.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Madeira Island and Sugar will be interconnected forever.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> </body> </html>
Read more
Funchal Historical Itinerary- Museums in Funchal
Funchal Historical Itinerary
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> </head> <body> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar Cane and Madeira Island</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (10).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"> </h4> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">The origin of the sugar cane</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sugarcane as a crop emerged somewhere in Papua New Guinea about 12,000 years ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Since then, this culture has spread to India, where the first techniques for transforming sugar cane juice into sugar crystals were verified (between the 1st and 4th centuries AD). It was from this area in Asia that the cultivation of sugar cane was brought to the general area of the Mediterranean by the hand of the Arabs. These brought it to the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Egypt and Sicily, together with knowledge of the processing techniques of this raw material (the word sugar itself comes from the Arabic word <em>as-sukkar</em>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (7).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar in Madeira</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">The archipelago of Madeira was officially discovered in 1419, although it was well documented well before that (see the island's presence in <em>Portulano de Dulcert</em> in 1339 and the reference to the <em>Fortunate Islands</em> or the<em> Purpura Islands</em> in the Roman period).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane was already established, due to the Islamic expansion in its various phases, in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean regions, such as the island of Sicily.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the efforts of Portuguese expansion, we see a shift from sugar cane cultivation from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic space, centred in Madeira Island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane arises in Madeira by the will of Infante Dom Henrique. The first Duke of Viseu proved to be an important influence figure in Portuguese expansion actions overseas. It is he who orders the first sugarcane clogs to come from the Island of Sicily (some historians, however, argue whether the first sugarcane crops might not have come from Valencia or even the Algarve, however the Sicilian thesis is the most accepted).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first plantation in Funchal takes place in a field belonging to Infante, Campo do Duque, in 1425.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island has good conditions for the production of cane and its product, sugar: it is abundant in water and has enough wood from the forest that can easily feed the mills.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The institution of the cultivation of sugar cane in order to produce sugar, spice (or at the height of the 15th century, considered as such), which was already highly sought after in European courts of the time and of a particularly high value, contributed to the scourge that is the phenomenon of slavery. Guanche slaves from the neighbouring Canaries were immediately imported (the guanches are natives of the Canary Islands, ethnically related to the North African Berber peoples) and later black slaves from the coast of Guinea. Apparently it is in Madeira that, in the context of sugar production, black slave labor was applied for the first time. The colonial system of sugar production is put into practice on the island of Madeira, on a much smaller scale, and will be successively applied, on a large scale, in other overseas production areas, as is the greatest example of Brazil.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (9).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the first cane plantation in Funchal, the cane crops are taken to the Machico area, where the first sugar measures are produced. Most cane fields are distributed along the south coast of Madeira Island, on the Captaincy of Funchal, especially in the areas of Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol (one of the biggest cane fields was Lombada dos Esmeraldos, belonging to João Esmeraldo, nobleman of Flemish origin) and Calheta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The construction of the first mills sees sugar production explode. In 1500 Madeira was the largest sugar exporter in the world. Its sugar was considered to be of superior quality and much appreciated in the Portuguese Court, England and Flanders. Madeiran production was in strong competition with sugar from the Mediterranean (Sicily, Morocco and Egypt).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island sees an influx of traders from all over the known world (Flemish, Italian, English, etc.).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Flanders traders, in particular, exchanged sugar for Flemish works of art such as the altar painting and the decorated wooden ceiling of the Cathedral of Funchal and many of the works of art found in the <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sacred-art-museum">Sacred Art Museum</a></strong>. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The popularity of the sugar produced in Madeira was so great that it was included in the alms given to monasteries, hospitals and mercies in the Portuguese domain at the time, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in Northern Africa.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production techniques used in Madeira were initially similar to those used in the Mediterranean territory, that is, the mills used animal power (oxen). Later, one of the island's assets, water, was used. The water mill and the trapiche are then used (usually a mill of cylinders used to grind cane, with horizontal or vertical axes, moved by animals or even by men).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (5).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production process, in a very basic way, is as follows:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane is harvested and ground within the first 48 hours (this has to do with the level of sucrose that is lost the more time that elapses from the moment of harvest).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• In the mill, juice and bagasse are extracted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane juice is cooked in boilers, filtered from impurities and concentrated in pans until it reaches the consistency of honey. The honey is beaten to the point of crystallization of the sugar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• The sugar is then broken and cooked again for the purpose of refining, being placed in conical shapes known as pão de açúcar (see image below).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Finally, the sugar is purged of the honey that could remain through washing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (3).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eventually, after this first boom experienced in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the decline in sugar production on the island appears. This crisis occurs in the second half of the 16th century and has several causes. Sugarcane on the island begins to show disease and, at the same time, there is also a strong competition from new producing territories: Canaries, São Tomé and, mainly, Brazil. Sugar production declines in such a way that it is not enough for domestic needs, being imported to the island sugar from São Tomé and Brazil. <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sugar-cane-museum">Sugar mills</a></strong> (formerly in large numbers, although no one is able to specify how many) are gradually abandoned, with few remaining.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In view of this context, this culture loses importance to another very striking one for the island:<strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/madeira-wine-museum"> wine.</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But it is through the decline in wine production and marketing that sugar cane makes its "comeback". This happens with the advent of the 19th century.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Water and steam engines are reborn. Sugar is produced, namely by the famous Hinton & C.a factory (until its closure in 1985) and some others. But the<strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-sugarcane-aguardente"> famous cane rum</a></strong> (the most important element of the <strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-poncha">poncha</a></strong>) is produced also and, eventually, another Madeiran gastronomic heritage: sugarcane honey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This small rebirth of the sugar cane lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century when restrictions gradually raised to the production of rum by the mills (which were limited not only in the production of the drink but in its very existence as factories). This happened because a public health problem was becoming evident, caused by the excessive consumption of this highly alcoholic drink.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (4).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We see a new sugar cane twilight in Madeira. There is a new abandonment of this cultivation, which is replaced by the banana tree in the south of the island. In the North, since there is not the same substitution culture, there is an abandonment of agricultural land and consequent emigration waves with the young population leaving.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The mills that are left to us today are heirs of this long history that begins almost simultaneously with the settlement of the island. These include Engenho Novo da Madeira, Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta, Engenhos do Norte and the Mel-de-Cana Ribeiro Sêco de V. Melim Factory (one of the oldest). These are mostly dedicated to the production of Rum / Aguardente and sugar cane honey, both of which are so present in our gastronomic and cultural rituals.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (8).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is not possible to equate the History of Madeira without bearing in mind the fundamental importance of sugar culture in it. It was the sugar that allowed the effective settlement of the island and it was the sugar that determined its great influence in the overseas territories of the young Portuguese empire.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Madeira Island and Sugar will be interconnected forever.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> </body> </html>
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Madeira Sugarcane Aguardente
Madeira Sugarcane Aguardente
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> </head> <body> <h3 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar Cane and Madeira Island</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (10).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"> </h4> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">The origin of the sugar cane</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sugarcane as a crop emerged somewhere in Papua New Guinea about 12,000 years ago.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Since then, this culture has spread to India, where the first techniques for transforming sugar cane juice into sugar crystals were verified (between the 1st and 4th centuries AD). It was from this area in Asia that the cultivation of sugar cane was brought to the general area of the Mediterranean by the hand of the Arabs. These brought it to the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Egypt and Sicily, together with knowledge of the processing techniques of this raw material (the word sugar itself comes from the Arabic word <em>as-sukkar</em>).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (7).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">Sugar in Madeira</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">The archipelago of Madeira was officially discovered in 1419, although it was well documented well before that (see the island's presence in <em>Portulano de Dulcert</em> in 1339 and the reference to the <em>Fortunate Islands</em> or the<em> Purpura Islands</em> in the Roman period).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane was already established, due to the Islamic expansion in its various phases, in the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean regions, such as the island of Sicily.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the efforts of Portuguese expansion, we see a shift from sugar cane cultivation from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic space, centred in Madeira Island.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The cultivation of sugar cane arises in Madeira by the will of Infante Dom Henrique. The first Duke of Viseu proved to be an important influence figure in Portuguese expansion actions overseas. It is he who orders the first sugarcane clogs to come from the Island of Sicily (some historians, however, argue whether the first sugarcane crops might not have come from Valencia or even the Algarve, however the Sicilian thesis is the most accepted).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The first plantation in Funchal takes place in a field belonging to Infante, Campo do Duque, in 1425.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island has good conditions for the production of cane and its product, sugar: it is abundant in water and has enough wood from the forest that can easily feed the mills.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The institution of the cultivation of sugar cane in order to produce sugar, spice (or at the height of the 15th century, considered as such), which was already highly sought after in European courts of the time and of a particularly high value, contributed to the scourge that is the phenomenon of slavery. Guanche slaves from the neighbouring Canaries were immediately imported (the guanches are natives of the Canary Islands, ethnically related to the North African Berber peoples) and later black slaves from the coast of Guinea. Apparently it is in Madeira that, in the context of sugar production, black slave labor was applied for the first time. The colonial system of sugar production is put into practice on the island of Madeira, on a much smaller scale, and will be successively applied, on a large scale, in other overseas production areas, as is the greatest example of Brazil.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (9).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the first cane plantation in Funchal, the cane crops are taken to the Machico area, where the first sugar measures are produced. Most cane fields are distributed along the south coast of Madeira Island, on the Captaincy of Funchal, especially in the areas of Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol (one of the biggest cane fields was Lombada dos Esmeraldos, belonging to João Esmeraldo, nobleman of Flemish origin) and Calheta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The construction of the first mills sees sugar production explode. In 1500 Madeira was the largest sugar exporter in the world. Its sugar was considered to be of superior quality and much appreciated in the Portuguese Court, England and Flanders. Madeiran production was in strong competition with sugar from the Mediterranean (Sicily, Morocco and Egypt).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The island sees an influx of traders from all over the known world (Flemish, Italian, English, etc.).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Flanders traders, in particular, exchanged sugar for Flemish works of art such as the altar painting and the decorated wooden ceiling of the Cathedral of Funchal and many of the works of art found in the <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sacred-art-museum">Sacred Art Museum</a></strong>. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The popularity of the sugar produced in Madeira was so great that it was included in the alms given to monasteries, hospitals and mercies in the Portuguese domain at the time, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in Northern Africa.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production techniques used in Madeira were initially similar to those used in the Mediterranean territory, that is, the mills used animal power (oxen). Later, one of the island's assets, water, was used. The water mill and the trapiche are then used (usually a mill of cylinders used to grind cane, with horizontal or vertical axes, moved by animals or even by men).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (5).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The sugar production process, in a very basic way, is as follows:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane is harvested and ground within the first 48 hours (this has to do with the level of sucrose that is lost the more time that elapses from the moment of harvest).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• In the mill, juice and bagasse are extracted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Sugarcane juice is cooked in boilers, filtered from impurities and concentrated in pans until it reaches the consistency of honey. The honey is beaten to the point of crystallization of the sugar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• The sugar is then broken and cooked again for the purpose of refining, being placed in conical shapes known as pão de açúcar (see image below).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">• Finally, the sugar is purged of the honey that could remain through washing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (3).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Eventually, after this first boom experienced in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the decline in sugar production on the island appears. This crisis occurs in the second half of the 16th century and has several causes. Sugarcane on the island begins to show disease and, at the same time, there is also a strong competition from new producing territories: Canaries, São Tomé and, mainly, Brazil. Sugar production declines in such a way that it is not enough for domestic needs, being imported to the island sugar from São Tomé and Brazil. <strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/sugar-cane-museum">Sugar mills</a></strong> (formerly in large numbers, although no one is able to specify how many) are gradually abandoned, with few remaining.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In view of this context, this culture loses importance to another very striking one for the island:<strong><a href="https://madeira.best/product/madeira-wine-museum"> wine.</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But it is through the decline in wine production and marketing that sugar cane makes its "comeback". This happens with the advent of the 19th century.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Water and steam engines are reborn. Sugar is produced, namely by the famous Hinton & C.a factory (until its closure in 1985) and some others. But the<strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-sugarcane-aguardente"> famous cane rum</a></strong> (the most important element of the <strong><a href="https://blog.madeira.best/madeira-poncha">poncha</a></strong>) is produced also and, eventually, another Madeiran gastronomic heritage: sugarcane honey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This small rebirth of the sugar cane lasted until the beginning of the twentieth century when restrictions gradually raised to the production of rum by the mills (which were limited not only in the production of the drink but in its very existence as factories). This happened because a public health problem was becoming evident, caused by the excessive consumption of this highly alcoholic drink.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (4).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We see a new sugar cane twilight in Madeira. There is a new abandonment of this cultivation, which is replaced by the banana tree in the south of the island. In the North, since there is not the same substitution culture, there is an abandonment of agricultural land and consequent emigration waves with the young population leaving.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The mills that are left to us today are heirs of this long history that begins almost simultaneously with the settlement of the island. These include Engenho Novo da Madeira, Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta, Engenhos do Norte and the Mel-de-Cana Ribeiro Sêco de V. Melim Factory (one of the oldest). These are mostly dedicated to the production of Rum / Aguardente and sugar cane honey, both of which are so present in our gastronomic and cultural rituals.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Madeira Sugar Cane History " src="../../../../storage/uploads/tinymce/madeira sugar cane history (8).jpg" alt="Madeira Sugar Cane History " width="856" height="460" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is not possible to equate the History of Madeira without bearing in mind the fundamental importance of sugar culture in it. It was the sugar that allowed the effective settlement of the island and it was the sugar that determined its great influence in the overseas territories of the young Portuguese empire.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Madeira Island and Sugar will be interconnected forever.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> </body> </html>
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