EAT EVERYTHING FROM GALLO PINTO
TO HAUTE CUISINE
Costa Ricans love to eat! First time visitors are always amazed at the proliferation of restaurants. Discovering the scope
and sophistication of the culinary arts will probably be one of the most delicious surprises of your Costa Rican vacation.
With farming conditions that range from hot humid lowlands, to cool mountain slopes, Costa Rica produces the full range of
temperate and tropical foodstuffs. Everything from shrimp to brook trout…avocados to asparagus. Add a cosmopolitan society, whose citizens trace their heritage to dozens of European and Asian countries, and Costa Rica is a natural, culinary melting pot
Be sure not to miss Costa Rica’s own.,.
“Tico” fare is neither spicy nor, in many respects, unfamiliar, It is built around the basics of rice, beans, corn,
vegetables, meat, chicken or fish and usually served with corn tortillas.
Breakfast typically features a delicious mixture of rice and black beans known as “gallo pinto” which maybe accompanied by
eggs, corn tortillas and sour cream. Calorie counters may prefer a tropical fruit plate of papaya, watermelon, pineapple,
banana and, in season, mango or cantaloupe.
Casados, popular at mid-day, are huge plates of white rice, beans, fried plantain, salad, cheese, diced vegetables, and
your choice of meat, chicken or fish.
Hearty soups are a favorite for dinner.
Commonly served desserts include caramel or coconut flan, several types of pudding, and a cake called “tres leches”. The
fresh fruit drinks, “refrescos naturales”, are flavorful and healthy. Any kind of fruit, from strawberries to mango, is
mixed in a blender with crushed ice, either water or milk and a little honey or sugar.
“Comida típica” is much more varied than you’ll find in most restaurants. Many dishes are associated with special holidays.
In Decernber, the whole family helps make the Christmas “tamales”, one of the most traditional dishes.
Visitors to Limón discover a distinctly Caribbean flavor and many recipes based on coconut milk. Those with a sweet tooth
won’t want to miss “panbón”, a heavy fruit bread redolent with spices. Guanacaste offers its own distinctive dishes with
corn being a staple ingredient. Huge tortillas with melted cheese are delicious. Guanacaste being ranch country, beef is
also big on the menu.
Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world. Beans for local consumption are often roasted with sugar to make
a thick, dark coffee that is not at all bitter. Traditionally, this strong coffee was served half and half with milk, in a
tall glass. After tasting it, you won’t want to go home without several bags of beans.