Sugarcane in Costa Rica
They are caespitose plants with stems of up to 5-6 m × 2-5 cm, with numerous leaves that measure between 30 and 60 centimeters in length elongated of sweet and juicy flavor, of hard texture and hairy pods. They show colors that go from green to pink or purple.
REPRODUCTION AND VARIETIES
The flowers of sugarcane are hermaphroditic, with male and female sex organs at the same time and are pollinated by the wind. Since it is a species cultivated by its stems and not by its fruits, it can spread without the need for pollination; This is mainly done by cuttings (fragments of stems). These cuttings are regularly planted in spring vertically and horizontally on the ground; in a short time, they develop new roots from the nodes or knots of the stem.
History of Sugar Cane in Costa Rica:
Sugarcane was introduced to Costa Rica by the Spanish. This product acclimated very well in some areas of Costa Rica. Specifically, the Western Central Valley was the favorite area for cultivation, which is why Alajuela, Grecia and Poas stood out in this agricultural activity. From the colony, the production of sugarcane achieved a considerable development, especially to produce a sweet tapa.
The “trapiches” proliferated in the area and the “Plaza del Dulce” in Alajuela was on the list of the places with the highest commercial activity in the country.
The advance of technology provided the necessary machinery to transform sugarcane juice into sugar, which revolutionized the market and the customs of the people. It was for this reason that they had the vision and the economic capacity to invest in an activity that would be of great importance, not only for the area of influence but for the country in general.
The “star product” of this species is the sugar obtained after extracting the juice from the stems. This juice, grayish, greenish and with a bitter touch, is treated with chemical products to reduce it to a syrup and then boiled until it crystallizes.
The crystallized sugar can be refined; This is the most common way in which it is presented for commercialization. It is a universal sweetener, present in thousands of dishes, desserts and drinks. Some people like to chew the cane and taste the juice directly.
Today an inventory of 125 diseases is known, in the 109 sugarcane countries and regions, some of these are:
- Red rot (Colletotrichum falcatum)
- Wilt (Cephalosporium sacchari)
- Mosaic of sugar cane (SCMV)Yellow ray disease (Cercospora koepkei)
- Disease of the eye spot (Helminthosporium sacchari)
- Roya (puccinea melanocephala)
Uses of Sugarcane:
- Stem juice is one of the main sources of sugar in this plant. Once the cane is harvested, it undergoes some blades that are crushed to later pass through the trapiche.
- To take the juice of artisan way in fairs and specific places, they are Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and until Colombia, these countries can call to the juice of cane like “guarapo”.
- Distilled alcoholic beverages can also be produced with sugarcane, including cachaça and rum.
- Medical uses comoe: officinarum, in Latin, means “of the offices” or “of the office” or “of the establishment” that is understood by herbolatra specialist (discomfort of trips in car)
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