What is the first term that came to your mind when you think of Costa Rica? Either its multicoloured beaches, country’s abundant nature, volcanos, adventure or delicious food? You have already read about the most romantic honeymoon getaways in Costa Rica. After travelling the country everybody wants to fill their tummy with delicious cuisine….but do you know about the traditional dishes of Costa Rica?
As rice is the staple food element of Costa Rica though most of the traditional dishes of the country include rice and beans. Though the meal offered by this country is not too costly. You can relish most of the traditional Costa Rican dishes family-owned and operated small restaurants which are remotely located throughout the country and are probably known as Sodas.
On a Costa Rica tour, meals can be just as much a part of your adventure as the activities you have planned as all the meals available on cheaper rates and quite delicious and gives you a refreshing taste which is impossible to forget.
So check out some of the top traditional dishes of Costa Rica that you taste during your extravagant trip.
1. Gallo Pinto
Gallo Pinto which means ‘spotted rooster’ is a breakfast dish which originated it’s rooted from Costa Rican and Nicaraguan culture and prepared from staple elements i.e rice and beans. Locals typically call this dish as Pinto.
In this dish rice and beans are combined with other ingredients such as red bell peppers, cilantro (coriander), onions and most essentials one is Salsa Lizan (spicy brown sauce) to give this dish some spicy flavours. Without savouring this mouth-watering dish your Costa Rica tour is incomplete.
After Gallo Pinto, Casado is the most common dish and readily available in almost all Sodas nationwide. This dish is prepared from many foods by joining white rice with a side of savoury black beans, vegetables such as cabbage, and one meat element which usually contains a fish fillet, charcoal-grilled chicken, or finely chopped pork.
Type of meat element which is served onto the plate by restaurants totally depends on the city of Costa Rica at which you are savouring this dish.
Chifrijo is a popular snack which has blown Costa Rica by its rich flavour. This dish is prepared by the combination of chicharrón (fried pork skins) and frijoles (beans) which are the main ingredients of this cuisine. Other elements which are used as toppings include onions, tomato, onion, coriander, and few add-ons such as Avocado and Jalapenos.
Mostly it is served in bars and pubs with fresh and crisp Tortilla chips. If you visit a bar or pub for enjoying the nightlife with your friends or loved ones in Costa Rica then request this savoury dish to relish with chilled beer.
4. Arroz con Leche
Arroz con is the most popular & traditional Costa Rican dessert which is served in almost every occasion. If you have heard of rice pudding then this dessert is similar to it as it is also made of rice and other milk.
The rice is cooked with milk till it turns yellow after that sugar, salt, lemon and cinnamon with some vegetables like peas, carrots, bell peppers, and celery are added to give a unique favour which tastes sweet and spicy. This dish sounds complicated but it is quite easy and rich in incredible flavours.
5. Sopa Negra
In some chilled out zones of Costa Rica, Sopa Negra is highly in demand. This traditional soup is prepared from beans that’s why it is also known as Black Beans Soup. In cold areas, people often savour a bowl of Sopa Negra due to its lip-smacking taste and thermal impact.
This traditional black bean soup is mainly served with hard-boiled eggs, rice bowl, and crispy corn tortillas. A warming dish that is also suitable for sick people and senior citizens. Those who love soup must try Sopa Nora once in their lifetime.
Tamale is the seasoned cornmeal of Costa Rican which is wrapped in banana leaves. And its filling consists of meat, rice, beans and vegetables (of your choice). At breakfast time, tamales are often paired with beans. The banana (plantains) leaf gives an authentic earthy flavour when tamales are cooked.
Most of the sodas of Costa Rica serve pork tamales as the main course in the festive season. If you ever tasted Mexican Tamales then skip its flavours and it is totally different from Costa Rican Tamales as Mexican one are covered in corn husks. This mouth-watering dish is crip from outside and soft and wetter from inside.
7. Olla de Carne
Another soup which is popular in Costa Rica is Olla De Carne. This soup is mainly for non-vegetarians as this dish contains beef stew. Due to its large filling, it is most frequently served in the main course.
Components which are involved in the preparation of this stew are carrots, corn, onion, bananas, potatoes, garlic, cilantro, yucca and a large portion of beef. The combination of beef with other elements gives a rich flavour to this soup and which is rarely found in any other soup. Apart from its rich and fresh flavours, this slow-cooked stew is packed with nutrients and minerals.
Patacones are deep-fried delicious snacks which mainly basically consists of crushed green plantains (bananas). The green plantain is peeled and sliced into quarter- to half-inch thick pieces and quickly boiled on each side.
Then, each portion is flattened and fried continuously until it is crispy on both sides. And served with beans and avocado with toppings of lime and salt. This appetizer is so rich in calories that it is impossible to eat just one piece.
Chicharrones are so appetising that you should absolutely try once during a trip to Costa Rica. This traditional snack is usually served at family gatherings at the time of feasts, bars and any other type of ceremony in Costa Rica. Chicharrones are nothing but fried pork rinds.
So here we have presented a list of the 9 most popular and traditional foods of Costa Rica. It does not matter which savoury dish you are trying but it is clear that you will enjoy every meal in Costa Rica due to its fresh flavours and unique taste!!