La Fortuna, San José, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
How to Eat in Costa RicaIf you’ve ever been to Costa Rica, you’re probably wondering if this is a trick question.
As my friends and I enjoyed the beautiful countryside on our drive from the airport, I got a laugh out of the signs we kept passing. They all seemed to say the same thing. “Free and Clean Toilets” followed by “Typical Food.”
I am not a picky eater and I am fortunate to have a stomach that will seemingly handle anything, so the one thing that I never research before I travel is the food. The mindset I have is, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Because my trips are always so active, energy and sustenance is key. I try to always be prepared with non-perishable snacks, protein powder and fruit and nut bars to make sure I have something at all times. When it comes to meals however, I eat whatever the locals eat and make sure to never eat the same thing twice.
In Costa Rica, my rules were broken. The options were usually rice and beans or beans and rice. I learned very quickly, that “Typical Food” consisted of a small green salad, rice, beans, plantains and a form of protein. Most menus won’t tell you what typical food consists of. If you are having a typical plate it with a piece of chicken, you would just order “Casada de Pollo.” (Married with Chicken) - and you just know that the marriage to chicken is that of beans, rice, salad and plantains. My variety in Costa Rica came in the form of pork chops, fried chicken, marinated chicken and 1,000 different fruits.
If a balanced meal is what you require when traveling, resorts like “The Springs Hotel and Spa” had a vast variety of healthy options as well as local choices. It was definitely difficult for me to keep a balanced diet but for me it was worth every calorie.