The suspended bunch of herbs – an altrustic way to deal with leftovers
There is an old tradition that apparently originated in the city of Naples in Italy. When in a café ordering an espresso, you can ask the barrista to charge you for a second one on top, which will later be given to a person in need if they ask for it. This tradition is called caffè sospeso (translated literally into suspended coffee) and has experienced a revival in recent years, especially since the Lehmann crisis in 2008. It is not confined to Naples, the country of Italy or solely to a cup of coffee anymore, but is spreading across the globe and also extends to other products and services. I love the idea of generosity and altruism behind it. Especially since the person asking for the coffee receives one from a donor unknown to them.
This tradition can also be transposed to leftovers. As I shared previously I am often confronted with herb bunches that are too big for my needs. Especially with dill I find that they often sell them in ridiculously large amounts at the green grocers. Supermarkets offer smaller quantities, albeit sold in plastic packaging. At a market stall I once asked whether they would also sell me half a bunch. They weren’t too happy to do it, but begrudgingly followed my request. I didn’t get what their problem was, because they would certainly have customers coming later who would probably be happy to take the other half. I just knew that I won’t need as much and before I have to deal with throwing it away...
Another time at a Turkish supermarket I bought a bunch of dill that was way bigger than what I needed. There was a couple in front of me at the queue at the checkout who did their weekend shopping. Judging from their shopping they seemed to enjoy eating well. I asked them whether they are interested in receiving a part of my bunch of dill as a gift. They were happy to take it and I hope they made good use of it.
It’s a slight twist on the caffè sospeso tradition, but maybe we could apply that to our shopping. Whenever you have to buy a quantity that is more than you need, ask the market stall vendor, green grocer or supermarket cashier if you could leave it gratuitiously for anyone who is interested.