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  • Roy
    Jun 25, 2000
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      Hi Haymo,

      As to pulperia, I’d say you are right. The word “pulpo”
      certainly is not the root. As I understand, years ago, when
      everyone would go into town, mostly via ox cart, on Sunday,
      some who lived along the road would set up the equivalent
      of a US lemonade stand on their front porch. They would
      have big clay jars or even glass jugs with fruit pulp and
      tapa dulce in water to sell glasses of this to the thirsty
      travelers on the way to or back from town. In this way they
      would make a few centavos. Most of us have seen these glass
      jars in the markets of Costa Rica yet, with their refrescos
      made of fruit pulp, passion fruit seeds or chan. Any how,
      the “pulpa” of the fruit used to make the refrescos gave
      its name to those who made and sold this drink, pulperos.
      And of course, once you have customers coming in to buy
      refresco, why not also sell them tortillas with natilla or
      gallos. And on it went growing into today’s pulperias.

      My wife and I, when we first came to Costa Rica, were into
      collecting fascinating plants. We started with bromeliads
      and rapidly passed on to orchids. It was in the 60's when
      we drove out North of San Ramon one Sunday morning, in
      search of botanical rarities. We followed the muddy trails
      and passed through the little town of Angeles Norte. There
      around the park & in front of the church were a dozen ox
      carts. “Colorful”, we commented. Then as we continued North
      slipping and skidding on the muddy trail, we began to see
      more ox carts going toward Angeles North. All had the wife
      & children riding, usually on top of a load of firewood,
      sacks of something, etc. The man of the family walked,
      goading the oxen. That day we saw well over 50 ox carts. At
      a farm where we stopped and asked directions, we were told
      that every Sunday this happens. The women & children go to
      church while the man sells whatever he brough in and then,
      more often than not, heads for the cantina! That was why
      the church here was always so picky about cantinas being
      open on Sunday, sale of liquor on religious holidays, etc.

      A few years later, taking advantage of a new road into the
      area, we repeated the trip one Sunday. No ox carts. We
      asked and were told that with the new road, they had buses
      now so nobody bothered to walk in with an ox cart! Well we
      got to see it anyway!

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