The "strings" of sweets, which are made and wrapped in paper of various colours, are still bought at the stalls during the festivals. Currently, those who buy these sweets do it to maintain the tradition or to reminisce, but in days gone by, when the quality of life on the island was low, these goodies were regarded as a luxury on special, rare days.
The tastier fennel sweets are other treats that have survived to the present day. They are made from the aromatic plant - fennel - which existed in abundance on the island at the time of the Discoveries and which gave rise to the name of Funchal.
More recently, in addition to the fennel essence there are: eucalyptus, passion fruit and banana thereby increasing the range of flavours. They are much sought after by residents and tourists.