Costa Rica is one of Central America’s hottest and most exciting destinations to travel to right now! A lot of people get put off by the idea of visiting in the green season - what we call the rainy season, yet it’s probably one of the most vibrant, lushest and freshest times to see the country in all its glory. The Latin America team have been working together, to come up with ten (very important) reasons as to why the green season is a great time to travel to Costa Rica.
Top 5 foods to try in Costa Rica
Food in Costa Rica has both Latin American and Caribbean influences – fresh fruit and vegetables are used in abundance and rice and beans are served up alongside most dishes. If you want to eat like a local, head to a traditional soda – a family run cafe, where you will be greeted by incredibly friendly owners and served fresh dishes in a buffet style.
This is the ideal dish for seafood lovers, popular throughout Central and South America. Ceviche is made up of raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice, onion, coriander and seasoning. The dish often includes peppers, tomatoes and celery, and is eaten as an appetiser and served with plantain chips or fried crackers. A whole host of fish can be used in ceviche, including tuna, shrimp, octopus, clams, sea bass, mahi mahi, and many more. Ceviche is excellent on Costa Rica’s coast when the fish is fresh from the ocean.
2. Olla de carne
Olla de carne is a traditional hearty beef stew which is packed full of nutrients and flavour, brimming with locally grown vegetables such as plantain, taro roots, cassava and sweet potato, with big chunks of succulent beef. Olla de carne is served with rice, beans and vegetables, often on a separate plate to preserve the individual flavours. This is home comfort cooking at its best, slow-cooked to bring out its richness.
This mouth-wateringly delicious delicacy is Costa Rica’s most popular snack. Tamales are small parcels which usually contain shredded chicken, pork, beef or vegetables, mixed with coriander and spices and finished with salsa. They can also be made with sweet fillings such as chocolate and fruit. The contents are steamed or boiled in a grainy dough and then wrapped in a banana leaf; they are traditionally eaten by hand. Tamales are particularly popular over the festive season and can be found everywhere at Christmas, although tourist areas will serve them all year round.
4. Gallo pinto
Gallo pinto is often considered the most traditional of Costa Rican dishes, and consists mainly of rice and black beans. These ingredients are sautéed together with onions, garlic and coriander, and served with scrambled or fried eggs and often a side of sausage. This is a breakfast dish, which the locals wash down with delicious Costa Rican coffee, but it can be enjoyed at any time of day.
If you savour your pork crackling and love the way it melts in your mouth then this is the dish for you. Chicharrones are notoriously unhealthy, but incredibly delicious. These tasty morsels of fried pork rind or pork belly are often found at fiestas and family gatherings, and in bars as a snack, served with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and often accompanied by tortilla chips. They are such a well loved snack in Costa Rica that they even have an annual Chicharron Festival in Puriscal to celebrate the dish.
Speak to our specialists to plan your holiday to Costa Rica
Call us on 020 3141 2840 for more information