Ojoche

ojochal-bosques-alimenticios-3The Ojoche (Brosimum alicastrum) is a tree native to the Americas. This tree can grow as tall as 40 meters and as wide as 1.5 meters in diameter. The Ojoche helped feed pre-columbine cultures as well as many Costa Rican families during 1953 and 1954, years when a great drought and famine hit the  country. The ojoche continued producing abundant fruit, feeding the population with its multipurpose and delicious seeds, which are rich in fat, starch, and a high-protein content that is almost equal to the content found in meat. The flour obtained from the seeds is ideal to prepare dishes and beverages.

The cattle eat the foliage, bark, and branches. The tree bark produces latex, which is used for medicinal purposes, and because it has a pleasant taste, it can be a substitute for milk.

In 1936, when the ojoche was still growing across the hills and along the rivers, the village of Ojochal was named after this tree. The pioneers introduced cattle in the area, and at the same time; they discovered the excellent application of the ojoche wood in construction; unfortunately, they cut thousands of trees, leading the species to the brink of extermination.

During the last years, the “Ojoche Committee” has been planting ojoche saplings; importing flour, and started the first culinary trials. You can buy ojoche flour for 3,500 colones per kg, where 1,000 colones will go directly to the “green fund” of the Ojoche project.

You can also purchase a small book with recipes and much more information about this tree that provides us with high nutritional value and antioxidant content; it is what we can call “super food.”

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