I love fruit. I LOOOVE fruit. And vegetables. And coffee. I love all things fresh, delicious, crunchy, soft, gooey, acidic, tart, earthy, juicy, fleshy (just for you papaya), bubbly, spicy…the list goes on. I love all the tastes and textures.
So when I got my site assignment for Fila Naranjo and read that it was a small coffee farming community in the mountains of Costa Rica my heart melted into a pool of dark chocolate fondue. Endless amounts of coffee? Fresh homegrown Costa Rican coffee? That was all I needed and all I wanted. It was enough to keep me satisfied for the next 2 years. I was happy…I was extática…with coffee.
But once I got to site, I discovered that the sweet, pure, fertile tierra of Fila Naranjo sprouted so much more than just the best coffee in the world. You name it, we got it. We’re like the expensive produce aisle in Whole Foods that everyone walks through but can’t commit to making a purchase. You might put that $6 exotic dragon fruit in your cart but you know you’re going to take it out once you get to the check-out and slip it behind the kombucha cooler.
In Fila Naranjo, every family and household owns a farm (finca) of some sort. Everyone grows coffee and a variety of other crops. The family that I live with grows at least 80% of their food and what they don’t grow they trade and purchase within the community, buy from vendors passing through, or purchase in the city of San Vito, which is an hour and a half bus ride away.
This blog series, The Fruits and Flavors of Fila Naranjo, will present the fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants that are grown in my community. And because I live in an agricultural-based rural community, I’m sure that the changing seasons will bring new foods and crops for me to eat and you to see :).
Now, onto the good stuff…
Manzana de Agua
Crispy, watery, sort-of pear tasting without that grandpa applesauce grainy texture. ¡Muy rico!
Papaya / Papaya
Fleshy, not-too-sweet, slightly odd tasting, blandish and earthy but I’m into it.
Lime / Limón / Mandarín
There’s the classic green inside & outside lime, limes with green outsides & orange insides, limes with orange insides & outsides and mandarin oranges with green outsides. Oyyyyy. I can’t keep them straight but they’re all here and they’re all tart and tasty.
Lettuce (Lechuga) / Cilantro (Cilantro) / Peppers (Pimientos) / Green Beans (Vainicas)
Behind our casa we have a greenhouse that is home to all of the above. If you add them all together with rice and beans you got yourself a pretty good meal.
Pineapple / Piña Verde
The pineapple here is called piña verde. It’s lighter in color, sweeter (más dulce!) and mind blowing-ly delicious.
Sugar Cane / Caña de Azúcar
Sugar cane is one of the main crops grown here for income.
Dad’s cutting me some crunchy and juicy cane to gnaw on. Thanks pops!
Passion Fruit / Maracuyá
Crunchy, gooey, tart, bright & beautiful, hello I’m in love.
Cacao / Cacao
Ever wonder where chocolate comes from? It comes from this guy.
Until next time…
I’m thinkin’ tamales!