I have been pleasantly surprised with the food in Costa Rica.. Lots of fresh fruit, tico style breakfasts, meat, fish, yummy coffee, and perhaps some Imperial’s or sangria for desert. Tico style breakfasts consist of fresh fruit, eggs, rice and beans, toast or tortilla, and perhaps a little ‘queso fresco’ or fresh cheese. Tropical fruit is abundant in Central America, consisting of: plantains, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango, rambutan’s or “hairy leaches”, tamarindo, avocado, and of course coconuts. That is not quite the end of the list, but you get the idea. Meals are based on what is available and in season. There is no doubt that the influences of the US have proliferated, but ‘la comida tipico’ or the customary foods and traditions of Costa Rica, still presides.
What I have noticed most is that people take their time and enjoy their meals. Not surprisingly, in a culture that runs at a much slower pace on ‘tico time,’ eating is not simply about full bellies, but also about time together where food is prepared from scratch and stories are shared.
I have also noticed how much smaller portions are. The plates are smaller and so are the serving sizes, including coffees, deserts and prepackaged drinks. Yes, people eat bread and pasta, drink beer and wine, but it does not seem to be in the excess that Americans often do. This is not a concept unique solely to the countries in Central America however, as I often notice how much smaller portions are when venturing outside the US.
I love food for the sake that it can taste oh so amazing, nurtures our bodies inside and out, while bringing people together. I appreciate that much of this culture seems to share this thought process. xo