Origami in Action – Traditional Food Wrapping

When I was a child growing up in Colombia, I often unwrapped a favorite family treat, “Bocadillo Veleño,” without realizing that my little fingers were doing origami in action, unfolding the folding.

“Bocadillo Veleño” is a delicious and sweet confection made from guava pulp and sugar. Consumed with enthusiasm all over Colombia, “bocadillo” is produced primarily in the town of Vélez, located in the department (state) of Santander, approximately 80 miles North and East of Bogota, not too far from the town of Puente Nacional, my father’s birthplace.

Bocadillo is commonly eaten together with a young mild cheese called Queso de Hoja which is similar to Farmer’s cheese. Bocadillo is most often shaped as a small rectangular block, has a firm consistency, a deep red color, and is similar in taste and appearance to the Spanish dessert “dulce de membrillo”.

Each small block of bocadillo is wrapped by hand in a piece of dried “bijao” leaf. Broad and oval-shaped the bijao leaf is similar to the banana leaf and it adds a delicate layer to the flavor of the bocadillo it wraps. Queso de Hoja is also wrapped in the bijao leaf but for the cheese, the bijao leaf is used fresh, not dry.

Other than Colombia, bocadillo is also popular in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela,

6 thoughts on “Origami in Action – Traditional Food Wrapping”

  1. Querida Leyla.
    Amei você compartilhar conosco essa sua experiência de vida na Colômbia. E ainda nos ensinar essa embalagem!


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