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Gallo Pinto

 

Literally meaning «Painted Rooster», this dish has nothing to do with its name, because basically, it is a mixture of white rice and black beans. Depending on the region of the country, there may be onions, sweet peppers and coriander. There are people who will put eggs or meat in it and accompany it with fried plantain, etc., and add a tangy sauce called Salsa Lizano. It is this sauce that gives it its authentic taste of Costa Rica. It may not be a dish you would eat early in the morning, but know that it is traditionally served for breakfast.

 

 

 

Ceviche

 

This word is perhaps not unknown to you, because by visiting some restaurants, you have probably seen this dish in their menus and have probably tried it. Alone, the word doesn’t really have a meaning, but seeing the composition of the dish, you may be inclined to say that it is a salad. Ceviche is a raw dish, either fish, shrimp or a mix of both. On the other hand, it is impregnated with lime juice that acts as an acid and which in a way cooks the fish or the shrimps. They are mixed with coriander and finely chopped onions and peppers. When you’ll taste it, be assured that it will be served with all its freshness.

 

 

 

Tamales

 

This dish is not typically Costa Rican as it is consumed throughout Central America. However, it differs from one country to another; and some sources suggest that in Costa Rica, it may vary from one family to another. It is made from corn and contains small pieces of meat and vegetables. This mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf and is traditionally cooked or steamed in boiling water. The particularity of this dish is that it is unfortunately seasonal. It is therefore during the different holiday periods that it is mostly consumed (especially at Christmas). However, it is not all Costa Ricans who wait for these periods to consume it, nor restaurants to serve it to their customers, because it is very popular and appreciated. So if you plan on visiting Costa Rica outside of these holiday periods, worry not, because you will probably find a family that will offer it to you or a restaurant that will serve it.

 

 

 

Arroz con Pollo

 

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Indeed yes ! This dish is very delicious, which explains its popularity in Costa Rica. It is rice (arroz) mixed with small pieces of chicken (pollo), tomatoes and coriander. Everything is cooked together with different seasonings added. Depending on the region or person cooking it, the chicken can be replaced by shrimp, squid or octopus. It is very similar to Chinese fried rice, with the difference that it contains Latin flavors. By going to Costa Rica, do not hesitate to please your taste buds by tasting this succulent dish. Depending on where you taste it, it may be accompanied by a small salad and French fries.

 

 

Olla de Carne

 

Costa Ricans are great fans of soups. Whether concocted and consumed at home or in a restaurant, soups are a real comforting delight to savor. One of them that is highly appreciated by Ticos and Ticas is the Olla de Carne (meat pot). Properly speaking, it is more of a vegetable broth to which meat is added. In general, it consists of carrot, cassava, sweet potato, potato, plantain and pieces of corn; and most of the time the meat is beef. Everything is moderately mixed with seasoning and is slowly simmered on fire. If you want to taste this delicious dish, you’ll have to be patient because it takes between 2 and 4 hours to cook.

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