Costa Rica is a wonderful country with a vibrant culture and some distinctive cuisine. In our prevous articles, we discussed a few traditional dishes unique to Costa Rica that we felt every visitor to Costa Rica should try. At this time, we would like to share a few more dishes, including desserts and an appetizer.
A Costa Rican tamale is not exacly like a Mexican tamale. While at first glance the fillings might look the same, there are a few major differences in the preparation of the Costa Rican version.One key difference: Costa Ricans are fond of garlic, but they tend to use less of the other tamale spices. Mexican tamales will have a much spicier flavor than a Costa Rican tamale. Another significant difference is the wrapping used. Mexican tamales are wrapped in corn husks; Costa Rican tamales are wrapped in banana leaves. Tamales can be a meal all on their own, but they are also often paired with beans and served for breakfast.
Sopa Negra is a traditional Costa Rican black bean soup. This soup is a filling and hearty option for vegetarians, and some versions of this traditional recipe will meet other dietary restrictions as well.The primary ingredients usually include black beans, onion, bell peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, hard or soft boiled egg and spices, along with some hot sauce.
Patacones are like a slice of deep fried deliciousness. They are mainly served as a snack and basically consist of flattening plantains and frying them twice. They are wonderful finished with a little bit of sea salt, and served with pico de gallo or black bean dip. Patacones make a wonderful appetizer before any Costa Rican meal.
We’ve spoken at great length about traditional Costa Rican meal dishes, and touched on one appetizer. let’s move on to everyone’s favorite part: dessert. Let’s start with Arroz con Leche. The description is apt-it simply means “rice with milk.” In reality, this traditional rice pudding has a much more complex flavor profile and level of deliciousness than the humble name would suggest. This sweet treat includes sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest, making it a wonderful treat at the end of a meal.
When speaking about Central American food, and Costa Rican food specifically, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the most common dessert foods in this region-flan. Flan is a traditional sweet treat that incorporates milk, vanilla, sugar, and eggs to make a delicious egg custard. Flan is traditionally cooked in a pan lined with caramel, and chilled before it is served. This wonderful and flavorful dessert is a must when visiting Costa Rica.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to a few more Costa Rican dishes to try while you are visiting. Enjoy your visit to Costa Rica!