This week, our Travel pics series is F for Fort de France.
It’s the capital, and largest settlement, on Martinique, a French “Overseas Department’ in the Caribbean.
Fort de France was not originally the capital – that honour went to Saint Pierre – but that town was wiped out in a volcanic eruption at the turn of the 20th century.
Exports from the city include Cacao for chocolate, tinned fruits, sugar … and rum (or, more accurately, ‘rhum’)
The rhum that comes from Martinique is not rum as made in Australia (based on molasses) – but “rhum agricole” – made directly from sugar cane.
It’s a potent brew – normally distilled to about 70% alcohol before being cut to about two thirds of that (still 100 proof or so) – and is made in 14 distilleries on Martinique, including the Depaz distillery, near the old Saint Pierre.
Some rhums can be pretty rough (aged as little as three months), while others, kept in oak, can be called “Rhum Vieux”, or “Old Rhum” after three years.
It’s not exactly a high-tech process – and much of the machinery appears to be decades old – but it’s a fascinating stop on your journey around Martinique .. and you get a chance to sample quite a few rhums and rum liqueurs which is a bit of fun 🙂