The sugar economy brought great wealth to the producing families, who displayed their wealth by building stone houses covered with clay tiles, therefore creating the first “Quintas” of Madeira.
The flag and coat of arms of the city of Funchal, capital of the island of Madeira, depicts the main economic activities of the island, including the sugar cycle, with five “Pães de Açúcar” (sugar cones) shaped like a cross, revealing the importance of sugar for the Madeiran economy.
Sugar from Brazil was also brought to the island of Madeira, transported inside exotic wooden boxes, called “caixas de açúcar” (sugar boxes). Due to their dimensions and good quality, these boxes were used to make furniture called “Madeiran furniture”.
The Madeiran Rum, produced from the sugar cane from the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is known, in this Region, as “Cane Aguardente”, “sugar cane aguardente” or “sugarcane aguardente”, therefore, in its labelling, the mandatory indication “Madeiran Rum” or “Agricultural Madeiran Rum” may be complemented with any of the traditional mentions. The word “aguardente” is used in Portugal and results from the merge of the words água (water) + ardente (on fire), consisting of a colourless liquid with a high alcohol content.
The Cane Aguardente, as the Agricultural Rum in Madeira is known, is exclusively obtained from the alcoholic fermentation and distillation of the sugar cane juice, being the only agricultural rum produced in Europe.
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