We are sure you will enjoy many of our country’s typical dishes, which take advantage of the fruits, vegetables and grains abundant here. Costa Rican cooking is mild rather than spicy, and is based around our love affair with rice and beans.
To whet your appetite, here’s a list of local favorites you shouldn’t miss during a trip to Costa Rica.
Frescos -natural fruit drinks made from fruit, water or milk, and sugar. In water, try tamarindo (tamarind), maracuya (passion fruit), carambola (star fruit), or cas (sour guava). In milk, papaya, mora (blackberry) and guanabana (soursop) are delicious.
Tamales -traditional Christmas food but also available year round. Costa Rican tamales are made from ground corn, seasoned with small pieces of pork, olive, cooked rice and other stuffings. They are cooked and often served wrapped in banana leaves.
Homemade tortillas accompany every traditional Costa Rican meal, and if you’re lucky enough to be offered thick, warm corn tortillas made by hand, don’t pass them up.
Picadillos -A uniquely Costa Rican way to prepare vegetables. Water squash, potatoes, carrots or other veggies are chopped into small cubes and combined with onions, garlic and a small bit of ground beef for seasoning.
Casado -a typical, inexpensive lunch or dinner plate (“casado” means married). Rice, beans, picadillo, salad and your choice of chicken, beef or fish are served with tortillas and a fresco. A casado will fill you up.
Gallo Pinto – Somehow the ‘Tico’ appetite isn’t satisfied unless rice and beans are on the menu-at least once a day. Breakfast time gallo pinto is one of the tastiest ways to combine arroz y frijoles, and you’ll have a chance to try it at any hotel in the country.