Beans and rice. Or rice and beans. I’m not poking fun. We had rice and bean for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They were usually accompanied by vegetables or sweets, and they were always delicious. I love rice and beans! Good thing it’s part of the staple diet of Costa Rica. They’re easy to customize for taste and diet.
The first night we arrived, the waiter at the hotel restaurant discovered that we’re “vegetarian” (despite the numerous times I said vegan) and he presented the most wonderful special for dinner. We each had 1/2 avocado topped with hearts of palm, tomatoes, sweet red peppers, bean sprouts, and a vinaigrette. That might be the best thing we’ve ever eaten. Ever.
I enjoyed a delicious fruit smoothie every chance I could get it. Sweet local fruit? You bet!
Breakfast every day included rice and beans, granola, fruit, and toast. There was no non-dairy milk for the granola, so I just poured it on my jelly-smeared toast. OMG. Heaven! We were always a little rushed in the morning, but that’s a good thing because I might have eaten a plate full of everything in the buffet.
Wow. Have you ever had fried plantains? We hadn’t. Man, those are delicious! It’s like a sweet, warm banana. And you can eat it for dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. (That’s a fried plantain in the photo above.)
We also met yucca. Yucca is grown in Costa Rica and it’s basically like a dry potato. You can eat it with beans and rice!
Of course, sometimes all that we could eat was salad, but even that was beautiful and featured new and interesting vegetables.
Wikipedia has a good summary of the agriculture of Costa Rica. We learned a lot about how the food is grown. More about that in a future post on “lessons learned.” Needless to say, I’m conflicted about my love of bananas, mangoes, coconut, etc., after seeing what the plantations do to this beautiful country. I felt good about eating the fruit when it was “local,” but what about when I’m back in the states?