Sugarcane Traditions - Costa Rica

26 images Created 19 May 2015

In a rural village a few km's south of Perez Zeledon in Costa Rica's highlands, two ticos work from sunrise to make 'dulce' from raw sugarcane. The crop is first harvested before having the juice extracted with the help of a wrought iron 'press cruncher' and the help of a couple of the farm's strong cows or 'ganados'. Next, this pulp is slowly boiled in a huge caldron that sits in a stone mould above burning firewood. The long process requires the workers to mix and stir the pulp in such a way as to generate the right consistency and grade of 'dulce' that the farm has been producing in exactly the same way for generations. Once the brother's agree the time is right, the entire caldron is emptied into wooden troughs where it is vigorously 'folded' with hand-carved spoons before pouring into the wooden or banana leaf moulds to finally set. Once cooled, this is about as pure and tasty as sugar gets.
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