Gastronomy of Costa Rica

Enjoy the exceptional gastronomy of Costa Rica by tasting the traditional dishes of the Creole cuisine and its exotic cocktails

Gastronomy of Costa Rica
Gastronomy of Costa Rica

Costa Rican gastronomy, also called Creole cuisine, is influenced by three varieties: the indigenous, the Spanish and the African cuisines. The main contributions of the indigenous cuisine are tamales, potatoes, corn, maniocs and pumpkins while the Spaniards introduced the beef and the wheat. Therefore, a mixed cuisine was created.

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Different spices varieties and fragrant herbs such as coriander, cumin and annatto are used in the Costa Rican cuisine while the desserts are traditionally prepared with milk, sugar cane, eggs, some fruits and vegetables such as maniots, pie melons and pumpkins.

Some of the traditional Costa Rican dishes are the following:

- Casado: it is made of boiled rice, beans and fried bananas. It is usually accompanied with beef, pork or chicken and a garnish of cabbage salad with tomatoes and carrots.

- Ceviche: this appetizer consists of raw fish marinated with citrus juices such as lemon and herbs. It is usually made with tilapia or sea bass.

- Gallo pinto: it is one of the most representative dishes of the country. This dish with African influence, also known as “pinto” o “patrulla”, is prepared with rice, beans and some condiments such as onion, sweet chilli and coriander. Gallo Pinto is usually eaten for breakfast, but you can really take it whenever you want to. Fried eggs, sausages or corn omelettes usually pair this dish.  

- Olla de carne: this is a traditional stew with lots of nutrients made of pieces of meat, carrots, chayote, bananas, manioc and sweet potatoes. It is accompanied with white rice, which is usually served separately.

- The tamale: this traditional dish is made with boiled banana leaves stuffed with a mix of maize flour, rice, pork and a variety of beans and vegetables.  

- Carnitas (little meats): they are grilled pieces of meat, which are to be eaten with corn omelettes.

Among the typical drinks of Costa Rica, chan is one of the most remarkable ones. This slightly sweet and viscous soft drink is prepared by adding chan seeds to water. This seeds have an aroma similar to lavender and they are good for the digestive system and also help to lower fever and blood pressure. Costa Rican soft drinks are natural juices of squeezed fresh fruits mixed with water or milk, and sugar. The most typical fruits are the star fruit, the passion fruit, the papaya, the mango and the Costa Rican guava, which is native of the country.

The typical juices and citruses of Costa Rica, along with their spices, make their mixture with different types of liquors highly exotic. Costa Rica has a wide variety of cocktails -that you can and should enjoy- available in most of the bars of the country.

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