Sunday, September 13, 2009

Costa Rican Traditional Cuisine

Some eat to survive but in Costa Rica, eating is a culinary pleasure to be enjoyed. Fast food culture is not pervasive and Costa Rican cuisine is natural, traditional and, best of all, delicious.

Most Costa Rican cuisine is not spicy allowing the natural flavors of the food shine through.

Home style cooking is predominant and food is modestly priced. Gallo Pinto, is the national dish of black beans and fried rice is as typical as is the hamburger in North America, and is generally eaten as a breakfast basic.

The most traditional food is Casado, which adds tomato salad, plantain, cabbage and meat to the staple ingredients of rice and beans. Casodo has developed from gallo, which is a kind of rice and beans additionally with cabbage and tomato salad, meat and fried plantains. In this typical dish vegetables do not form a large part of the diet. Traditional Costa Rica food basics includes chicken, beef and fish. Steaks and beef are moderately inexpensive, but don't assume your steak will compete with its North American counterpart.

The Costa Rican cuisine is expert too in seafood. Costa Rica's beaches and coastal towns are especially good for fresh seafood. Sea bass (Corvado), Red Snapper (Pargo) and Dorado (Mahimahi) are always very tasty. Unfortunately, much of the shellfish like lobster and shrimp is exported and if you do find some, it won't be cheap. In the eastern province of Limon there is a distinctly Caribbean flavor to all the food. Jamaican classics like jerk chicken and rice with peas are widely available.

Costa Rican desserts are a special treat. Try the flan for traditional dessert and the dulce de leche if you really have a sweet tooth.

A range of delicious deserts are traditional and include:
arroz con leche - rice pudding,
cono capuchino—an ice-cream cone topped with chocolate
dulce de leche—a syrup of boiled milk and sugar. Also thicker, fudgelike cajeta—delicious!
flan—cold caramel custard
miel de chiverre- sweet white spghetti squash
mazamorra—corn starch pudding
melcocha—candy made from raw sugar
milanes—chocolate candies
pan de maiz—corn sweet bread
queque seco—pound cake
torta chilena—multilayered cake filled with dulce de leche (you need an extra sweet tooth for this one)
suspiros- meringues.

Of course Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world! And coffee is ranked as one of the three largest export businesses for Costa Rica. A large cup of delicious cost Rican coffee – what a great start to any day.

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