Rican cuisine is simple but it is heavy on oil. Comida tipica or
native dishes, rely heavily on rice and beans, the basis of many
Costa Rican meals. Home-style cooking predominates. But meals are
generally wholesome and reasonably priced. Gallo Pinto,made of fried
rice and black beans is usually served as a breakfast. Notable is
the famed Rice n' Beans of the Caribbean, a version of Gallo Pinto
made in coconut milk,that is worth trying. Many meals are derivatives,
including arroz con pollo or arroz con atun. At lunch Gallo Pinto
becomes Casado, which consists of rice and beans with cabbage and
tomato salad, fried plantains, and meat. Vegetables do not form
a large part of the Costa Rican diet. Costa Rica home cuisine has
an inordinately amount of fried foods so keep that in mind when
you receive an invite for dinner.
Rican food staples are beef, chicken, fish and despite the abundance
of coastline, seafood like shrimp or lobster, is expensive because
Costa Rica exports most of its seafood. Low budget travelers should
stick with the casado at lunch time, or 'plato del dia' which is
priced lower and has varied ingredients.
in Costa Rica does not present the health problems that might scare
the unwary traveler as elsewhere in Central America, but be aware
that some pesticides used in Costa Rica are forbidden elsewhere.
Eat where the locals eat, usually that will reward you with tasty
and trustworthy food.
Rica has no national drink, but very popular in the cultural tradition
of drinks are Horchata, a cinnamon flavored cornmeal drink, Chan,
a slimy drink made of seeds, Linaza, which is popularly used to
cure indigestion, and Fresco de Frutas, which is basically a fruit
salad floating on a base of kola and water, delicious!! And, of
course, guaro, the campesino’s nearly-tasteless yet potent
alcoholic drink of choice. And coffee of course, Costa Rica’s
grain of gold. Most of the best coffee is exported, so don't expect
the best coffee everywhere you go. Coffee is traditionally served
very strong and mixed with hot milk.
bars in Costa Rica have the now disappearing habit of serving bocas
with each drink , bocas are different types of food in small amounts,
usually ceviche or chicken wings or bean soup, to have a better
time with your drinks. Some bars provide them free but others may
apply a small charge. Turtle eggs which may have been taken in a
special legal season are a very popular dish in many bars for its
special taste, but are best avoided because of the possibility of
having been poached illegally.
drinks may be expensive so you might be better of trying with the
local Costa Rican drinks. The beer is a very popular drink and the
ones of most sale are Bavaria and Imperial. Even the poorest campesino
can afford the native red-eye, guaro, a harsh , clear spirit distilled
from fermented sugarcane. In rural areas you might find Vino de
Coyol, which is a wine distilled from liquid that is collected on
holes on the trunk of a very spiny palm, drink with caution, intoxication
goes away, but many say if you go out in the sun with a Coyol hangover,
you might find yourself drunk again.
the local wines, all of which are made from fruits other than grapes,
such as blackberries and 'nance'. The most memorable thing of them
is the hangover. Imported wines are expensive with exemption of
the ones from Chile or Argentina which are of grequality. We personally
like the Cousino Macul, imported from Portugal. at q