Archive - Jul 27, 2009

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: The sweetness of working together

Today I have my first taste of raw sugar cane, sweet and delicately flavored.  My friend Umberto,* who has been my host for the past few days, takes his machete and peels the bark off an eight foot rod, then notches the pale interior so it’s easy to break off small pieces.  I take a chunk in my hand.  It looks like pale wood, slick with sap.  I take a bite, chewing the pulp, and juice drips from my mouth.  It is almost clear, incredibly sweet and reminds me of thin honey.  I spit out the woody part and toss it on the pile of outer husks that will help fuel the fire for the next round of making panela, hard cakes of sugar.