October 13, 2012

Beau Plan Sugar Museum

Sorry for the delay - this post is long overdue. As you know, my friend visited at the end of August and these days two other friends stay with us. Sneaking in some minutes for this post. :)
In walking distance (about 10-15 min) from SSR (Pamplemousses) Botanical Garden (If you missed my previous post, visit it here),  is the old Beau Plan Sugar Mill, which has been cleverly converted into a sugar museum after 177 years of raw sugar production.  
We've been to Beau Plan Sugar Museum once before - 3 years ago - and my opinion this museum is the best one on the island and really worth a visit - if you'd like to know how sugar is made.
Beau Plan Sugar Mill's chimney
Lots of machinery's used in the process from sugar canes to sugar
If I got it right; the sugar juice has to be concentrated before the sugar can be crystallized, and the process takes place inside huge evaporators. About 80% of the weight of the juice needs to be evaporated.
Different sugar that are made from sugar canes
This boat was used to transport sugar from Mauritius to Madagascar. It did its last trip in 2000. It was also the last boat where sugar sacks of 80 kilos / 176 pound were loaded manually on board.
80 kilos / 176 pounds load of sugar - want to try?!
A 2 foot gauge steam locomotive from 1932, is preserved in the museum. The locomotive comes from Mon Loisir Sugar Estate (to be closed 2012).
Different 'knives' used to cut sugarcanes
The museum has a very nice shop, where you can buy different sugar in beautiful packages. You can also taste rum made from sugarcane, plain or mixed with different spices.
Next to the museum is a very nice restaurant, beautiful settings
There are so many steps from growing sugar canes until the sugar is put on your table - too much to explain here. You can read more 'Aventure du Sucre'  here.
Ironically this year Mauritius had to import 25000 tonnes of raw sugar from Brazil, after exporting thousands of tonnes of sugar some years ago. Read more here.  

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