August 27, 2009
My local food scene has changed quite a bit since I last posted. Instead of potatoes, bok choy, and beets there are mangoes, pineapples, papayas, and lots of rice and beans. I am excited to immerse myself in the cuisine of Costa Rica and enjoy the tropical fruits with no guilt.
The traditional dinner meal of Costa Ricans is casado: rice and beans served side by side with some meat (except for me) and usually some type of salad. We went to an authentic restaurant and everyone had some variation of casado. Mine came with rice and beans (mixed) of course and a square of fried cheese that can only be described as squeeky. Very salty, sharp and white, it tasted like milk gone a little bad and fried in butter. However, absolutely delicious with rice and beans. Next to that was some mixed vegetables, one of which was new to me: chayote. It is in the gourd family, but is apparently lumpy and peculiarly only has one seed. The taste was vaguely limey and a marriage of broccoli and cucumber. Plus fried plantains!
Breakfast was served at a great a hotel in San Jose and was partly rice and beans (mixed this time) with some eggs and mucha fruta! I can not get enough of that pineapple. There is a great kitchen staff at this field station (Las Cruces) so many more treats to share very soon.