14 Feb CACHAÇA: its history (Part I)
At the beginning of the 16th century, Portuguese colonists brought sugar cane back to Brazil to cultivate it. The land being fertile and vast, it was necessary to bring in cheap and healthy labour. At the beginning, it was the Native Americans but they preferred to commit suicide than to be their slaves.
Then they brought the slaves from Africa. These because of the hard work and to give them strength and energy, boiled the cane juice to drink it and called it “garapa”.
The settlers used this drink to calm slaves during the slave trade, when they were transported by boat or to appease revolts. The “garapa” took the name of “cagaça” considered as fermented sugar waste to make cane wine.
It was a success for the cagaça which even became a bargaining chip against black slaves from Africa.
Then gradually, it is named cachaça which becomes very popular, it represents one of the cultural products for the development and modernism of Brazil.
(source: travel counter blog)
To know :
- Cachaça also has its national holiday, September 13
- Brazil produces around 1.2 billion liters of cachaça per year.
- There are over 5,000 brands of cachaça in Brazil.