Photo of the week – Ancheta of Fruit

December 2015

anchetaMichael: In Colombia, as Christmas approaches one sees filled baskets in stores. They are called anchetas and given as gifts. It is equivalent to gift baskets as they are called in the United States, England, Canada and Australia. The one in the above photo was at our local fruit store. Of course it is filled with some of the more than 150 fruits found in the country. The cost in U.S. currency is about $9.

I see many more of these in Colombia than I ever saw while living in the United States.

Graciela: As commercial goods came into being the idea was to not just give the items in the basket, but that the basket be handmade and a piece of art. You were giving someone both something practical and artistic. These were made by the indigenous Indians. Today things have changed some. Still the idea is the same, that of giving something the receiver can use. For those already set with money the artistic basket continues and possibly filled with things they normally would not purchase for themselves. For some that might be expensive wine and imported exotic foods. For those perhaps earning minimum wage or less, the basket may be replaced by a plastic bucket that they can use and filled with household food stuffs. Somewhere in between those two might be the commercial made baskets with hams, cheese and fruits.

Michael: Many stores sell baskets filled with their products. But there are places that sell baskets. These range from handmade that are in themselves a work of art to those made of wood or by machine. Then the giver can customize the contents to fit the receiver.