While attending language school in Costa Rica, you should be sure to do more than just study! It is also important to learn about local culture and experience local cuisine. Costa Rican food uses plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and is very good for you. So if you decide to learn Spanish in Costa Rica, you have a delicious experience ahead of you.
When you first arrive in the country, you might be expecting for the food to be spicy. However, this is not actually the case, as most people in the country are not fans of hot food. One simple item that you will see quite commonly is called gallo pinto. This staple food is made from rice and black beans. This meal is expensive and very prevalent. Although gallo pinto sounds simple, it is very delicious.
A typical Costa Rican lunch is the one-plate meal called casado. The national dish of Costa Rica, casado is a serving of fish, pork, or chicken, accompanied by a salad and a side of rice and beans. Tortillas and cheese often accompany this meal. Another extremely popular dish is Arroz con Pollo or chicken with rice, with a Russian Salad on the side. This type of salad is made of eggs, mayonnaise, beets and potatoes.
One condiment that you will see quite often when you are in language school in Costa Rica is called Salsa Lizaon. This is a brown sauce that is a bit sweet and spicy. This sauce is commonly used in gallo pinto and tamales, as well as in a variety of other dishes. In addition to spices, sugar and salt, Salsa Lizano also contains onions, cucumbers, carrots and cauliflower.
Health conscious tourists will be pleased that fresh vegetables constantly show up in Costa Rican cuisine. These veggies include squash like zucchini, chayote and ayote. Onions, potatoes, and red peppers are also often present in Costa Rican food. If you love plantains, you are in luck! This type of banana is very common in meals. It is sometimes put in soup and also often fried to make patacones.
Costa Ricans love their traditional beverages. Agua Dulce is a popular breakfast drink that is made from tapa de dulce, which is a lot like brown sugar. Coffee is also served frequently, both at breakfast as well as afternoon coffee breaks. Traditional Costa Rican drinks are also served for lunch including sweet beverages called refrescos. This fruit drink comes in flavors including melon, blackberry, watermelon, mango, tamarind and many others.
However, those are not the only local drinks. Another popular option is granizado, which is slush made for ice and syrup. Many people choose kola flavor, which is a fruity cherry. Granizado is often served with either condensed or evaporated milk.
Costa Ricans, no doubt, love their sweet drinks. The national liquor, Guaro, is even made from sugarcane and is mixed with juice and soda. Guaro tends to be very inexpensive. In fact, it is cheaper than beer.
When students plan to learn Spanish in Costa Rica, they often aren't prepared for just how diverse the food will be. Food also tends to be fairly inexpensive, which is great for travelers on a budget. Visitors will inevitably find themselves longing for this country food upon their return home!