The Flavors of Costa Rican Cuisine


Several staples of Latin American cuisine is incorporated by Costa Rica food but it differentiates itself by making its dishes much healthier. Generally Costa Rican food is quite healthy and many of the dishes are prepared with oils high in saturated fats. Based on fresh meats and vegetables, herbs and light spices, Costa Rican cuisine is generally quite healthy and balanced. In almost all Costa Rican cuisine, rice and beans is the basic variable. You will come across several rice (arroz) dishes. Usually fried rice is served with chicken (pollo) or shrimp (gambas).  At breakfast rice and beans are served with meat or eggs and that is called ‘Gallo Pinto’ that means ‘spotted rooster’ in Spanish. During lunch or dinner you will get the rice and beans as a part of casado that includes beef, small salad beef, chicken or fish, fried plantains, rice and beans. Both Casados and Gallo pinto are known as comida tipica (typical food). Here goes a short description about The Flavors of Costa Rican Cuisine:

Fruit and vegetables:

Costa Rican diet includes lush, colorful, sweet and sour fruit and vegetables. These fruits are added with every meal as an appetizer, dessert, salad, palette cleanser or fresh-squeezed juice. This country keeps some of the best vegetables and fruits for itself such as tamarind, giant green avacadoes, guava, lychees, mangoes, pear, golden Peruvian brown cherries, star fruit, peach palm fruit, noni, passion fruit, and many more.


Coffee is not only a staple crop rather it is more than that. It is a part of Costa Rica’s history. It is grown mostly in the temperate hillsides and valleys of the Central Valley for the last two hundred years. Most of the coffee produced in the county is made with Arabica beans and many of the farms roast their own beans and make their own brands of coffee.

Here goes some of the common Costa Rican dishes:


In Costa Rica ‘Casado’ or ‘Comida’ is the most common dish. It is prepared by combining rice, beans, fried plantains, finely diced red bell peppers and onions, a choice of meat between chicken, fish, pork, or steak with grilled onions, a cabbage salad with tomato and carrot. Meats are grilled or sautéed and never fried to add in the dish. Extra vegetables like avocados and french fries are also added to the Casado. In any part of the country in any restaurant you can get this dish.


In Costa Rica Ceviche is a popular appetizer prepares with fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lime with finely diced herbs and veggies. The best Ceviche is made of local tilapia orcorvina (whilte sea bass), cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, celery and onion. In most of the restaurant and some of the soadas you will find this appetizer.

Gallo Pinto:

Mixed rice beans with chopped beef, fried plantains, fried or scrambled eggs and tortillas are used for preparing this typical breakfast. You will get Salsa with Gallo Pinto that is a sweet greenish brown salsa prepared with the faintest hint of spice. Though it is a breakfast food, it can be ordered at any time of the day and you can get this dish in any restaurant or soda.

Olla de Carne:

Prepared with huge chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, yuccas, chayotes, plantains, sweet potatoes, camotes and green plantains, Olla de Carne is a flavorful and nutrient-rich stew. You can eat this dish in any typical Costa Rican restaurant or soda.


Empanadas are fried or baked dough filled with cheese, beans, potatoes, or chicken. They are popular as a snack between classes or meals and are best eaten with a dollop of hot sauce. This snack is usually eaten between classes or meals and served with a dollop of hot sauce. You can get this snack in sodas, restaurants and even random street vendors.

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