Just like most part of Central America, the food in Costa Rica is based on rice, fried plantains, black beans, tortillas and coffee which, by the way, they prefer to drink strong and black, they do not like sugar, milk or cream in their coffee. Costa Ricans also enjoy stews and soups a lot. Usually they put many vegetables in their food. The corn is also a favorite ingredient in their food, they use it in tortillas, empanadas, salads and other dishes.
The main meal for Costa Ricans is the lunch, because they consider it is the perfect moment for the family to gather and have some conversation on all the busy activities they have in the afternoon. The dinner time is smaller since people work less and it is their moment to get everything ready to go to bed. As the lunch is the most important meal, a big part of workplaces and companies give Costa Ricans two hours for lunch break.
A common meal made of black beans and rice is called “gallo pinto”. They have several popular soups like “zarzuela”, a spicy seafood dish, “black soup” which contains black beans and corn stew. Even though it contain oils and fats, most main dishes are accompanied with stews and salads that contain many vegetables. A common salad in this country has tomato, col and carrots. Ticos diet is generally healthy, high in fiber and not too exotic, they usually do not eat too much.
When Costa Ricans are hungry, they take healthy snacks like plantains, they prepare them either fried or baked cut in slices, and these plantains are really tasty, sweet and crunchy. Although they look like a large banana, you cannot eat it raw.
During Christmas women in big families prepare Tamales. Drinks in Costa Rica are very simple: water, coffee, beer, juices and sodas. They also eat the fruits that grow here like papaya, mango, pineapple, watermelon, and so on, because they are very sweet and pulpy. They call the coconuts “pipas” and green “pipas” are only used to drink the milk on the inside.
Roast pork and chicken are the two most frequently eaten meats in Costa Rica, ratherly prepared over coffee wood to get smoky taste. They also like fish like “dorado” and “Corvina”
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has a different style of food, they go crazy over coconut, instead of corn. They put coconut on every dish, they use coconut butter, drink coconut milk and grated coconut.