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Investigating food and culture in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica Phase I Interview Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", lies at the heart of the Central American, is an ideal tropical paradise for living or just your vacation. Almost 95% of the Costa Rican population is of Spanish or Mestizo (mixed) heritage, heavily influencing the country's cooking style (globalgourmet.com). While doing my research about Costa Rican's food and diet, I had an interview with a Costa Rica native Alejandro Saprisa. He was born in Costa Rica and is the first people to migrate to the U.S. among his family. Compare to the family or friends in Costa Rica have a close relationship to the Catholic Church [Because it was a Spanish colony, today, more than 90% of Costa Ricans consider themselves Catholics. (Margaret Kelly, P18)], Alejandro does not have any religious affiliation. Beans, rice, potatoes and coffee are what he mentioned regarding as foods that are indicative of Costa Rica culture and also use for meal cooking. Normally, Costa Ricans have three meals every day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are prepared in the kitchen by women in the family, usually the mother. Alejandro usually has coffee, muffin as a snack between lunch and dinner. Back at home, when he had dinner with his family, every member of the family sits and eats together around the same table. All dishes are set on the center of the table; everybody help themselves to enjoy the meal. Plates, forks, knives, bowls, spoons, glasses are used for meal. In American culture, today, we have taken time away from enjoying food and eating with family, which is due to the lack of time. Ever since Alejandro moved to this country, his food habits are slightly changed. He surprisingly finds himself has not touched a plate of rice and beans for a while due to tight time schedule that makes him no enough time for cooking at home. ...read more.


Meanwhile, they are all happy to find out that their country's culture is accepted by more and more American. Phrase II I. Data collection Costa Rica traditional cuisine is an interesting product of its cultural diversity, where North and South American flavors meet Spanish and Caribbean culinary styles, producing a range of mouthwatering dishes. Costa Rican food is generally quite healthy when coupled with an active lifestyle. Fruit, fresh vegetables, rice and beans, beef and abundant salads are the trademarks of Ticos' cooking. The meals are very well rounded and generally low in fat, rich in protein and high in fiber. Cheese and other dairy products are rarely utilized. Costa Rica's traditionally mild, not over-spiced cuisine usually features rice and beans (core foods), which are also the main ingredients in the national recipe (globalgourmet.com). Galo pinto (literally, painted rooster), this simple, standard dish, is the backbone of Costa Rican cuisine. It is rice and black beans mixed with seasonings including onion, cilantro, garlic and finely chopped bell pepper. Rural Costa Ricans eat gallo pinto three times daily (Paul Murphy, p108). Casado is another feature meal, the name referring to the eternal "marriage" of its components. Consisting of rice and beans, meat or fish, fried plantains, and a carrot, tomato, and cabbage salad, this basic and well-rounded meal strikes a good nutritional balance. Fruits and vegetables make their secondary foods. Vegetables are mostly utilized in making soups and stews or as side dish with of a casado meal, fresh cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots make up the typical salad. Corn is one of the most favored vegetables, and it is usually prepared in the form of tortillas and corn pancakes. Corn turnovers filled with beans, cheese, and maybe potatoes and meat to make Empanadas. Fried mashed plantains with a liberal sprinkling of salt makes up Patacones. Fruits found in Costa Rica are delicious and in abundance, especially tropical delights like mangoes, passion fruits and papaya. ...read more.


2. Refrescos, (made of blended fruit and ice, are very popular refreshments, and are available at most corner stores and restaurants) 3. horchata (a sweet and spicy drink that is made of roasted ground rice and cinnamon). Casado This dish is not only the most popular and typical Costa Rica meal that you can easily find out in almost any local restaurant but also it is always a filling and economic meal for a tight budget. As I have explained before, this dish consists of roasted pork served with black beans and rice, fried plantains, and fresh salad that make up with cabbage, carrot, and tomato. Wine Pairings: California- Mirassou Pinot Noir Old World- Joseph Faiveley 2004 Pinot Noir Bourgogne (Pinot Noir is a versatile food wine, great with meat and vegetables which all we can find in this dishes casado). Olla Podrida The Olla Podrida is the great-grandparent of the soup the people in Costa Rica loves the most. What gives the distinct flavor to the Costa Rican version is the mixture of vegetables cooked in it: yucca, green plantain, sweet potato, tannia, tacacos, taro, pumpkin, carrot, cho-cho, onion, cabbage. Wine Pairings: California- 2007 Banshee Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Old World- Cotes du Rhone Arroz Pollo/ Gabas Arroz is a dish of fried rice which may be offered with chicken (pollo) or shrimp (gambas, also served with black beans, roasted corn on the cob, and cabbage, carrot, tomato salad. Wine Pairings: California- 2008 Sonoma County St. Francis Chardonnay (good match for the meat chicken in the dish) Old World- 2007 Zind-Humbrecht Vin de Table Francais Zind Sources Costa Rica, by Paul Murphy, Huw Hennessy, Dorothy Stannard; 2009 Traditional Costa Rican Food October 31 2010 http://www.whatcostarica.com/costa-rica-food.html , www.vivacostarica.com/costa-rica-information/costa-rica-food.html Food and Drink October 28 2010. http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinations/costarica/#axzz13y7qU3yg. Global Destinations Costa Rica, by Mara Vorhees, Matthew firestone & Lonely planet, 2006 www.costaricantrails.com Costa Rica, by Erin Foley, Barbara Cooke Costa Rica, by Larissa Banting http://www.culturecrossing.net/basics_business_student_details.php?Id=14&CID=50 Costa Rica, by Rowland Mead Costa Rica by Joe Fullman,Nicola Mainwood http://www.Costa-Rica-Guide.com/travel Costa Rica's Natural Remedies, by Emma; http://www.costarica.com/blog/costa-rica-living/2010/08/costa-rica-natural-remedies-medicinal-plants/ Costa Rica Homeopathic Cures, http://www.vamos4x4.com/vamos/blog/2010/03/costa-rica-homeopathic-cures/ http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Costa-Rica.html http://www.buzzle.com/articles/different-cultures-of-the-world.html http://www.food.com/recipe/costa-rican-coconut-fudge-cajeta-de-coco-125603 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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