It is 3:30 p. m. The sound of a train stuns. We are in San Pedro de Montes de Oca and the traffic reminds us of this.
An instant later, the noise disappears, and a friendly room we received. We went up the only stairs in the entire house. About five. Silence. Peace. History spots. Flora Sobrado Rothe, aunt Florita, is the protagonist of this space.
Us smiles as he flaunts his good state of health to climb up the stairs.
Everything flows between us and who is considered to be the chef most recognized of the costa rican cuisine. It is a great talkative. The stories appear one after another. Do the “monologues” of the kitchen in front of the camera on its 42 years of experience we developed the gift of the word: posted more than 1,000 programs, 10.500 recipes, and hundreds of hours of recording.
He was born in 1927, in Liberia, Guanacaste. Met in April 90 years, but their lucidity and their physical cheat to anyone.
— My grandfather, a españolete huge hair like colorado, he inherited dad. Then dad bought a farm which he called San Juanillo. My childhood was on a farm that was located between the rio Nosara and the river Marbella. I was like about 11 miles of coastline.
She grew up with her three sisters, her mother, her father, the pawns and the service, which helped the family to keep the property and family businesses: the export of timber to Peru and the planting of rice.
— Dad was opening the mountain and doing their paddocks. Those gentlemen of before, they were like Robinson Crusoe. A few titans.
Of those grounds your family does not retain even a single square meter. She says that a number of people without authorization was to make use of the land of his father, backed at that time by the government of Daniel Oduber and the “Pepe” Figueres. Precisely that is the memory of Guanacaste of the doña Flora doesn’t want to talk. The one who wants to forget.
— Imagine that government people said: “The earth is not of one who has, but who needs it.” Dad was at the end without anything.
Fortunately, the good memories are more.
Doña Flora began his education in the province. His mother, who was a teacher, took a colleague to the farm to which she and her sisters were educated. He taught them to read, to write, everything within the four walls of that house in the form of “L” that had a reservoir in the center to collect water.
— We studied in the farm but we were coming to the school of Peru (near to the Parque Morazán) for the exams. I don’t know how, but we accepted. And it was going well. It’s true that you have prepared for us!.
For a second, we interrupt because there comes a man to the house of doña Flora to buy some books, of many of his authorship. You want to pick up one autographed. “Such is the life of it”, says the wizard of Doña Flora for over 10 years.
Aunt Florita lived in Guanacaste up to six years, if his memory fails him. He traveled to San Jose to finish his secondary school, together with his mother and sisters. But that the split of the province for a short time.
— With my second husband, Max Echandi, (who keeps his last name), I met Guanacaste for front and back. He had a trailer and the loquera was to go and parquearnos on the beach and cook there. Is that Guanacaste I adore it, there I was born, I bring it in the veins. In those times, with Max, all the weekends we spent there.
And in the kitchen
Says dona Flora de Echandi that the province had an influence on his dishes, and to see the strength of his mother on the farm preparing the food walked to the kitchen. The formed for the rest of your life.
— To me from tiny I got to the kitchen and I got to grind, to bunt in the airand (he raises his hands and teaches us how). All of that is that one then goes out and prepares the rice, corn, chicken achiotada, empanadas, pozole, papaya, crystallized, cocadas, the tanelas, all of that.
From your childhood remember the taste of the condensed milk, which “already existed since then.” Has the image intact when a boat passed by and left the sugar and other ingredients on the farm from time to time. As well as the ceremony of preparing the bread, and every meal.
—I seem to be watching mom singing, and making bread or cake. She said she had to scramble to 600 times here (right) and 600 times for past (left), to revolviera the sugar with the butter.
Its past, its present
After a while he started to prepare the recipes of your mother. Scored each step and each ingredient with a precision enviable and, of those notes, came the publication of his 16 books of recipes, and multiple brochures.
— I did not study, I do not have a profession, or went to Paris. I read and read, tried and tested. He wrote everything that he did, and that was the secret.
As if it were an apprentice. Dona Flora is still demanding. Today, think social networks and how to bring your recipes into the digital world. Is entrepreneurial by nature. Tireless.
Adapt to modern times alternated with what best you learned how to do: your program. Cooking with Aunt Florita is still on the air: after you have your space in channel 11, 7 and 13, today is transmitted through channel 33 (Xpertv).
Be restless, demanding, disciplined and a perfectionist is, according to her, allowing him to continue being who once recognised the book Celebrity Chef in 2009: one of the best cooks in the world.
— What has been your greatest legacy?
— More than a legacy is a satisfaction. I everything I did, I did not do it purposely. Not what I had as a vision, it was giving, it was accommodating. But I think that is influencing the small business, in encouraging women to undertake. The women told me that they were learning to make pastries, then sold it and added a little bit of silver for the home. I that I can not imagine ever.
Guanacaste received to his grandparents and watched as his father, he learned the courage. Guanacaste that made his mother “a great lady”, one of those who know cooking, ironing, and dress elegantly, inherited the taste for cooking. And of the province, just because yes, he inherited the mettle to face a different life for the women of her time, full of successes.