„All roads lead to… rum” could be the motto of Martinique.
Domi wanted to go to a rum distillery while we were on Martinique. There are a lot of workshops, finally we decided to visit the La Favourite Distillery. This is an artisan family factory and they use steam engines. The whole place was very captivating. At first, we weren’t sure we were in the right place ’cause work was still going on (no ticket /pass needed, you just walk in); but the welcome sign in front of the building convinced us.
Upon entering the factory, we could read about how the process works. A photo exhibit walks you through the processes step by step, starting with the cutting of the sugarcane and ending with the bottling of the drink. To our surprise, hundred-year-old machines are used in the factory. The water comes from a nearby dyke built in 1842, the furnace is heated with the cut canestalks. In the cellar we could witness how they were separating the alcohol from the water. We also noticed all the wooden barrels around containing the noble drink. The girls were chasing chickens in the yard. They also built a bridge across the little stream for them. Next, we peaked into the bottling department where a young woman was sealing the bottles by melting wax on the bottlenecks. Only a few steps to our final destination: the shop. In the hall we could admire old posters advertising La Favourite Rum. Finally, we could taste all the different types of rum produced locally and buy some as well.
Rum originates from the Caribbean region. Since the 17th century it has been an important product in Central and South America. Martinique’s economy is built largely on growing sugar cane and producing rum. As we walked among the machines and the huge steel barrels, then along a long corridor, finally arriving to rooms filled with wooden barrels up to the ceiling – the history of the Caribbean came alive. The cruel deeds of sugar barons and slave traders are also part of history here. Rum is the suggested remedy for seasickness, toothache, the common cold … Those who are aware of the similar beneficial effects of palinka, the Hungarian wonder schnaps, can easily see the parallels between the two drinks and their importance in people’s lives.
Back to present day and the shop: once they learnt that we are sailors, they recommended the 3 liter plastic bag version. I loved the 25 year old white rum, as well. Too bad that we didn’t buy any of that …
Almond Pogácsa (po-ga-tsha, a bit like a scone)
Here is the recipe for almond „pogácsa”. It is worth tasting with rum or tea or with rum and tea 🙂
Ingredients for dough
- 350 g flour (3 cup)
- 250 g butter (1 cup or 2 stick)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 dl whey-free sour cream (1 cup)
- salt to taste (1.5 teaspoons)
- 150 g almond (1 cup)
- 2 egg white
Combine the ingredients, then let the dough rest for at least three hours. I usually put it into the refrigerator. You can use it for up to a week if stored in the fridge, or for two months if stored in the freezer.
Once you take the dough out of the fridge, roll it out until it is 1 finger thick using a rolling pin. With a round cookie cutter, cut out the pogacsas. Brush the top with lightly beaten egg white to give it a nice golden brown color when baked, then decorate with boiled, bleached almonds and give it another brushstroke of the egg white. We bake it until golden brown for about 20 minutes at 200 C (390 F) degrees.