Sugar Cane Museum opens to the public
The Calheta Sugar Cane Mill [Engenho da Calheta], founded in 1901 and located on the Western south coast of Madeira, further enriches its treasures with the opening of a museum which displays one of the early and most important productive activities in the region: the sugar cane culture.
The Museum recreates the history of the mill by displaying some pieces from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that were part of it, as well as industrial archaeological artefacts. A bilingual film is also shown, with images depicting the production process of the sugar cane.
With Prince Henry as the motivator and first producer of sugar cane, and as a result of its establishment in the Region, not only did the Madeiran economy improve, but the Expansion and the Portuguese Crown were sponsored too.
With the competition from sugars produced in Spain (Canary Islands), Brazil and Africa (São Tomé and Angola), Madeira's sugar industry fell into decay. Today, the canes are used for the production of aguardente (sugar cane rum) and molasses, iconic products that are indispensable for the creation of two of the most desirable gastronomy experiences in the region: the typical honey cake and poncha.
Currently, four sugar cane mills still exist in Madeira - Fábrica de Mel de Cana Ribeiro Seco (Funchal), the Society of Cane Mills of Calheta (Calheta), the Cane Mill Company of the North (Porto da Cruz) and the New Cane Mill (Calheta Industrial Park).
Learn more about the Madeira Museums, which demonstrates the wealth of history and tradition, by visiting the Madeira Tourism website: Museums