Better Than Paper

in #costarica3 years ago

Recently, some friends invited me to lunch in Cartago, at the home of a woman who cooks and delivers meals professionally. As expected, the food was fantastic. But I was as astounded and impressed by her packaging and presentation as I was by all the flavors. Who knew banana tree leaves could be turned to both a preservative and an artful wrap in mere seconds? Not me! But I know now! Lucia was thrilled to let me capture some video of her working in the kitchen, where she explained in Spanish (and her son in law Jorge explained in English) everything she was doing and why.

Costa Rica continues to surprise and delight me. I can't get enough of the Tico lifestyle and traditions. Quite deliberately, @michelios and I have avoided the "touristy" aspects of the country and immersed ourselves in the native culture as much as we can. Yes, we'll hit the beaches and the waterfall tours and all the cool things soon enough. But for now, we just want to mingle and blend, absorb what we can, and make a life for ourselves there that is both sustainable and rewarding. This technique with banana tree leaves is one of the many "life hacks" used by Ticos to leave as small a footprint on the environment as possible, while getting the most out of it. Just think: not a single tree has been killed and processed to package Lucia's product. Leaves grow back, and quickly in the tropics. Plus, leaves are 100% biodegradable and good for the soil. This has to be one of the most clever "life hacks" I have ever seen.

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