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Cuisine in Costa Rica

What can you expect from the cuisine in Costa Rica? Our experts have some tips to share with you.

Costa Rica, being influenced by the cultures of many different countries, has a range of dishes which you will find to be familiar, yet new. Traditional yet cutting edge, Costa Rican cuisine may be simple but it’s often surprising. The climate of Costa Rica means fresh fruit and vegetables are in abundance and these are generously used in Costa Rican cuisine.

The population of Costa Rica is wonderfully diverse. This diversity is present in the country’s food which has Spanish, Caribbean, South American, and Central American influences, though most locals enjoy a hearty traditional meal, heavy with rice and beans.

Traditional Costa Rican Casado meal with rice, beans and plantains.
Traditional Costa Rican Casado meal with rice, beans and plantains.
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Enchanting Travels Costa rica Tours Casado de Res - typical Costa Rican food

Cuisine in Costa Rica – What to eat

Rice and beans are commonly used in most Costa Rican dishes and with great skill! Take for example, Gallo Pinto (Spotted Rooster-though it doesn’t contain Chicken!), a popular breakfast. It’s a wonderfully rustic dish of black beans and rice, mixed with herbs and spices, or onion. Similar dishes are popular across Latin America. even tasting it! Be sure to taste your dishes first before adding.

Rice is often popular as a dessert ingredient, Costa Rican rice pudding, or Arroz Con Leche (Rice with milk) is particularly delicious, with lemon zest and sugar often combined to give it a sweet and surprising taste.

If you want something more exotic, we suggest a Tamal. You might have had a similar dish, the Mexican Tamale. The Costa Rican Tamal tends to be much milder than it’s spicy Mexican cousin,and you might find it much more palatable. The Tamal is a very popular during Christmas in Costa Rica, and as such, it makes an interesting vacation alternative.

What’s more, as Costa Rica is home to people from all over the world, this diversity in cuisine is present in the range of restaurants and types of dishes available in the major cities, be it Indian or Italian!

Whatever your taste is, you’ll find plenty to love in the food of Costa Rica.

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