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Monday, December 21, 2009

Eating my way across Costa Rica

Examiner.com: Holiday home cooking without the home cooking

With avocado trees growing everywhere, you know this guacamole is fresh. Served with baked tortilla chips.

If I were going to start another blog, I'd call it "Eating My Way Around the World." It seems like both my conversations and travels always revolve around food -- what to eat, when to eat, where to eat and how to get the most and best food on a budget.

Breakfast: Arroz con frijoles, fried plantains, fresh watermelon and, of course, PB toast. ;) My sister had the biggest banana on her plate!

That's one of the best things about traveling: trying new cuisines and interesting foods. Before moving to Korea last year, I'd only eaten Korean food twice. A whole new world opened up once I got to Seoul.

There's something extra-refreshing about a Fanta -- or Miranda -- after a long hike through the rainforest.

Even within a cuisine, there are variations between countries. The quest for good Mexican food outside of North America is all-consuming -- and difficult! -- and has been made on three continents. The same is true for Indian curry, at its prime on London's Brick Lane but with passable alternatives around the globe.

Freshly-caught mahi-mahi tacos, black beans and hot sauce.

Costa Rican food is similar to Mexican but less spicy, with the ubiquitous bottle of smoky Linzano salsa on every table.

Lonely Planet called this sangria the best in Costa Rica. With huge chunks of banana, peach and other fruits mixed in, I agree!

Often the cheapest meal on Tico menus is a casado, the supposed "ideal" meal for a married man, comprised of a meat or fish, pico de gallo, white rice, black beans, fried plantains and a small salad.

Un casado tipico

Vegetarian food is easy to find throughout Costa Rica, as arroz con frijoles (rice with beans) is eaten by many people at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, almost every restaurant offered a hearty un casado vegetariano.

Un casado vegetariano: broccoli, cauliflower, corn-on-the-cob, white rice, black beans, fried plantains and salad.

I'll usually try anything once. Hiking in Belize last year, the guide pulled down a stick covered in termites and asked who would try one. My dad and I were the only ones from our group to volunteer and you know what? It wasn't half-bad! Not something I'd eat every day but certainly nothing exceptionally gross.

Un casado vegetariano, this time with baked potato.

Do you like trying new foods when you're traveling?

Absolutely amazing homemade banana pancakes at our B&B in Quepos.


  1. When you were talking about Mexican food being hard to find I remembered how I craved it SO BAD when I lived in Rome. I finally went to Hard Rock and got nachos.

    I do love to try new things! Well, as much as I can, being vegan.

    I have recently started eating plantain chips. Yum! Is that what fried plantinas taste like?

  2. I finally found one streetcart at Camden Market in London that had pretty good Mexican food but that was it. It's a struggle!

    I've never had plantain chips so can't say how they compare, but fried plantains taste almost like a more savory, less sweet banana to me.

  3. OMG. I'm obsessed with all ethnic foods, especially Mexican. This post has me salivating and craving tacos and guacamole, especially since the last Mexican restaurant I ate at was nasty!

  4. I just eat my computer screen. I LOVE those types of foods. IALWAYS try new foods when I am travelling. It's my fav thing.

  5. And this is why I love your blog: its association with food. LOVE IT!

    That guac looks fantastic.