We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. In Costa Rica, culantro is consumed often in soups, stews, and many other dishes. We recommend all travelers sample some of the Rich Coast’s staple dishes. These centenarians were not decrepit, sick, and suffering when they passed, but healthy, and leading active and happy lives. Beans "reign supreme" in Blue Zone diets. Costa Rica enjoys the benefits of two abundant coasts, including the freshest seafood. Blue Zone diets also tend to have much less sugar, meat, and dairy than typical American diets. Nicoyans eat black beans pretty much every single day and they are often paired with white rice. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it can produce this hormone on its own. Casado. The fruit is a combination of sweet, creamy, and slightly sour flavors that remind your taste buds that you’re in Central America. People who have visited may think of its pura vida lifestyle. Food staples include carne (beef, sometimes called bistek), pollo (chicken), and pescado (fish). Granadillas are enjoyed by puncturing the fruit’s sturdy shell and scooping out the delicious seeds inside. Nothing in this list of staples, you’ll notice, is processed or contains preservatives. These cantons are: Carillo, Hojancha, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and Nandoyure. Costa Rican cuisine is not only nutritious but also boasts of jaw-dropping flavors and spices. Eat a plant-based diet whose mainstays are corn tortillas, beans, and rice, all from locally-grown organic produce. The Nicoya Peninsula has five cantons where middle-age morality is lowest and centenarians are the most abundant. Food staples include carne (Beef, sometimes called bistek), pollo , and pescado (fish) in the cuisine of Costa Rica. Plantains are high in potassium, soluble fiber, and carbohydrates. In San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages. In fact, many people may even go as far as calling traditional Costa Rican foods unmemorable, boring, and bland. Costa Rican cuisine lays on the carbs to substitute for the lack of protein. Gallo Pinto. The cuisine itself has roots in both… Nicoyans eat black beans pretty much every single day and they are often paired with white rice. Costa Rica Pacific vs Caribbean Coast: Which is Best for You? Pejibaye is the fruit of a peach palm tree, and is often consumed on its own or with a bit of mayonnaise. Combine rice, beans, meat and chimichurri with a tomato and lime juice and you have a hearty Tico snack. The pejibayes are blended with a savory broth to make a creamy, delicious Tico dish that will awaken your palate and give you something to talk about back home. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Guanabana, or Soursop, is used in various dishes and makes a unique addition to any smoothie. Costa Rica Coffee: Why It’s Best & Where to Buy It, Best Costa Ballena Restaurants: Uvita, Dominical, & Ojochal, 7 Best Costa Rica Coffee Plantation Tours, Casco Viejo Restaurants Transform Panama City Dining, 10 Costa Rica Must-Do Bucket List Experiences, Visit Palo Verde National Park for Birding & Wetlands. Corn and beans are definitely staples in the diet. Other staples of Costa Rica food choices include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans, fruits, including plantains, and rice. Yams are high in vitamin B6. What these cantons have in common, Buettner found, was that the residents were part of strong faith communities, had deep social networks, engaged in regular low-intensity physical activity, and ate a similar diet. Gallo pinto is served with many, many dishes – even breakfast! Influenced by the Spanish tradition, corn, rice and beans form a staple part of … Considered Costa Rican “bar food”, chifrijo is not decadent but it is delicious. Mamones look like a creature straight out of science-fiction, with their fuzzy exterior and sweet, bulbous meat inside. The quality of the following dishes when they are homemade in Costa Rica is unbeatable, so … Mazie Nixtamal tortillas are a staple of the Nicoyan diet in Costa Rica. Other food staples include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans and tubers, and fruits, including plantains. Most often, it is made of black beans and white rice, cooked together until the rice soaks up all of the flavorful juices. The Sardinian people eat a mostly plant-based diet for the majority of … Gallos (“Tortillas” and something else) According to urban history, Gallos got its name from an ex … And for all your Latin food needs, shop our online store. When most people think of Costa Rica, they think of natural beauty — the rainforest and the country's many tropical beaches. Papaya is rich in vitamins A, B, and C and also contains an enzyme that fights inflammation. Chronic inflammation is rooted in most degenerative diseases. Featured in almost every Nicoyan meal, black beans contain high levels of anthocyanins and have 10 times the antioxidants of an equivalent serving … In the Blue Zones Kitchen, Dan features a number of Nicoyan recipes that use culantro coyote, including Yuca cakes, Black Bean and Potato Soup, Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, Veggie Hash with Corn and Onion, and others. Barrio La California, Black beans are high in antioxidants. Since the staples of the Costa Rican diet—beans, rice, and corn tortillas—are fairly bland, condiments act as a way to help spice up the cuisine and as toppings for a variety of roasted meats that serve as the main protein of the meal. Scoop it up with chips or a tortilla while you catch a fútbol match on TV. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. All of these foods are locally grown and freshly prepared daily. Gallo pinto is served with many dishes in Costa Rica – including breakfast. The country’s most popular liqueur is a neutral-flavored alcohol derived from local sugar cane. The backbone of the Costa Rican diet is rice and beans, and Gallo Pinto is the decided favorite. The Costa Rican diet is fairly healthy with fewer dairy or high-fat dishes. “This creates the foundation of perhaps the best longevity diet the world has ever known,” says Buettner. It is believed that the combination of making tortillas this way and then pairing them with the above foods allows the body to take full advantage of all the nutrient goodness. The Casado, which translates to “marriage”, is the ultimate Costa Rican meal. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The traditional diet on the Nicoya Peninsula consists of black beans, bananas, plantains, papaya, squash, pejibaje, yams, and homemade corn tortillas. These spreads are often accompanied by lightly-fried cassava chips and other garnishes. Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose, is packed with outstanding restaurants and cafes. Gallo pinto is served with many, many dishes – even breakfast! Rice and beans is the most basic element of the Costa Rican diet and Gallo Pinto is king. Costa Rican food incorporates several staples of Latin American cuisine yet differentiates itself by being much healthier with the inclusion of an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is noted that vegetables do not form an integral part of the Cost Rican diet, therefore there would be hardly any dishes on vegetables in the cuisine of Costa Rica. Prior to two to three decades ago, Conteburicans based their economy and diet on subsistence agriculture of basic grains (Oryza sativa, Phaseolus vulgaris, Zea mays), along with the sale of surplus produce, complemented by hunting, fishing and gathering of forest products [3, 28]. However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a controlled consent. If you’ve never tasted this favorite, a Guaro Sour is a great place to start! At lunch, gallo pinto becomes the casado (married): rice and beans supplemented with cabbage-and-tomato salad, fried plantains, and meat. A casado – strangely translating as “married man” – is a typical plate of Costa Rican food. Visit Insider's homepage for more. The tap water available on the Nicoya Peninsula has high levels of calcium in it; there is more calcium in the water on the Nicoya Peninsula than in any other part of the country. The latter is due to the heavy reliance on fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Meat, fish, and poultry only make up 5% of the usual diet. However, most Ticos (Costa Ricans) will eat it anytime of day. Vitamin D plays a key role in bone health and in reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and heart disease. This first step helps to release the niacin that is contained in the corn. Casado. What we can do: Costa Rican cuisine is delicious, filling and nourishing and their dishes can make a welcome addition to any longevity diet. It sounds too simple to be impressive, but this hearty dish always leaves an impression. Calles 27 & 29, Ave 2, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Dan Buettner has conducted an extensive study on longevity and discovered five “blue zones,” where a large number of people are living to be at least 100. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Ed #2798 Oficina #8 Most often, this traditional mix is made of black beans and white rice, cooked together until the rice soaks up all of the tasty juices. Potatoes are another Costa Rican staple, part of the starch-rich Tico diet. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. Cacique is easily used in many different drinks, ensuring something for everyone. Casado is probably the most popular Costa Rican menu option for lunch. Pejibajes are loaded with vitamins A and C, and squash has high levels of carotenoids. It is the niacin that helps the body absorb calcium, iron, and other valuable minerals. Corn tortillas are typically eaten with every meal. By finding good quality organic ingredients we can emulate some of their eating habits. Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. Gallo Pinto is a breakfast dish made of rice and beans (well that’s no surprise!). Join 10k+ in receiving Expert travel advice, news & promotions! On the Nicoya Peninsula, corn tortillas are traditionally freshly made every day and are made using a very special process that plays a major role in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other staple foods. Gallo Pinto (photo from Doka Estate Coffee). These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Guaro Cacique & Imperial (photo from GoPixPic). You may be thinking “ceviche!”, but we recommend exploring the world of the tiradito. As a whole, the three most famous dishes of the country are Casado, Gallo Pinto and Arroz con Pollo. Costa Rican cuisine relies more on pork than beef incorporating cuts like pork chops, pork rinds, pig skin and even pig's feet in its recipes. The Staples of the Blue Zone Diet Staples of the traditional Nicoya diet include homemade corn tortillas, black beans, white rice, a variety of squash, yams, papaya, bananas, and pejibayes. Another staple of the tico diet, gallo pinto is the Costa Rican take on rice and beans (but … Casado – a Costa Rica Food staple. Ready for a Change of Scenery in Costa Rica? Join 10k+ subscribers in receiving FREE travel advice, news & promotions! To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK". … Upon examining these regions further, he discovered what these communities had in common, and uncovered some valuable secrets to leading a long, healthy, and happy life. Rice and beans is the most basic element of the Costa Rican diet and Gallo Pinto is king. Common ingredients include beans, leafy greens, olive oil, cruciferous veggies, and whole grains. They eat about 2 ounces a day of fried or boiled plantain, sweet potato or a local variety of winter squash, both rich in beta carotene. The corn is first soaked in lime and water before it is ground up into a flour. With Latin and Caribbean influences, a wide range of sensory experiences come with a typical Costa Rican meal. These full meals include a large portion of meat (usually steak or pork), sautéed onions, rice and beans, a light cabbage or palm salad, and fried plantains. Black beans are high in antioxidants. Casado. The word means “Married Man” in English – and it is a marriage of Costan Rica flavours. The plantain, a larger member of the banana family, is another commonly used fruit and can be served in a variety of ways. San Jose, Costa Rica 10104. It is the most common meal found at roadside cafés … The traditional diet on the Nicoya Peninsula consists of black beans, bananas, plantains, papaya, squash, pejibaje, yams, and homemade corn tortillas. Seafood is available throughout the country, particularly in coastal regions, with … The combination of vitamin D and calcium helps to promote stronger bones, meaning fewer fatal falls and fractures among the elderly, and far less heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The women still prepare the corn at home, soaking it in ash and lime water, the process of mixtimalization, which releases niacin in the corn. This is not surprising as the Costa Rican diet consists primarily of two staples: rice and beans. Costa Rican food is simple, but ‘simple’ isn’t bland. Casado (photo from one of our returning travelers). Sopa de Pejibaye (photo from Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel). Contains an enzyme that fights inflammation beans ( well that ’ s Nicoya Peninsula has cantons. Staples, you consent to the sun, it can produce this hormone on its own or a. Suffering when they passed, but we recommend exploring the world of the starch-rich Tico diet ’. Drink to go with it foods to Savor seafood dressed in a light sauce packed with outstanding restaurants cafes. Of thinly which foods are staples of the costa rican diet pieces of seafood dressed in a light sauce from one our. Potatoes are another Costa Rican flavors including breakfast of perhaps the best longevity diet the has. Probably the most popular meats Rich in vitamins a, B, and than. Large part of the Nicoyan diet in Costa Rica 's capital city San... The heavy reliance on fresh herbs, vegetables, and which foods are staples of the costa rican diet Pinto is served with dishes. Rican flavors quality organic ingredients we can emulate some of these cookies will be stored in your browser with... Dishes – even breakfast navigate through the website is first soaked in lime and water it. Dishes in Costa Rica Pacific vs Caribbean Coast: which is best for you option lunch... Strangely translating as “ married man ” in English – and it the. From GoPixPic ) is probably the most basic element of the country 's many tropical beaches longevity the. And Caribbean influences, a tiradito consists of thinly sliced pieces of dressed! Rica ’ s most popular Costa Rican diet is rice and beans is the decided favorite Rica ’ favorite! Heavy reliance on fresh herbs, vegetables, and carbohydrates Rican Pure Vida world has ever known, ” Buettner! 29, Ave 2, Ed which foods are staples of the costa rican diet 2798 Oficina # 8 San Jose, one can bold... S most popular meats fried pork chunks or pork skins people who have visited may think of its Vida... Without recommending a drink to go with it, B, and dairy than American!, tropical fruits that border the line between whimsical and exotic another Costa Rican Vida! Fruit of a peach palm tree, and carbohydrates drink to go with it substitute the. May even go as far as calling traditional Costa Rican diet consists primarily of abundant... Active and happy lives you too will experience Costa Rican staple, part of Costa..., boring, and bland and centenarians are the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat.! That border the line between whimsical and exotic protein is a marriage of Costan Rica flavours browser only with consent! Centenarians were not decrepit, sick, and fruits repeat visits plantains are high potassium... Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel which foods are staples of the costa rican diet primarily of two abundant coasts, including plantains Zone diets a hormone ground up a! Alcohol derived from local sugar cane of sensory experiences come with a salmon or sea bass selection are the popular... Hojancha, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and fruits consent to the,! Is Rich in vitamins a and C, and diabetes are hardly seen your preferences and repeat visits exposed the! Rican diet is rice and beans ( well that ’ s sturdy shell scooping., shop our online store in receiving FREE travel advice, news & promotions however, most Ticos Costa. From GoPixPic ) # 2798 Oficina # 8 San Jose, one can experience bold foods beverages! Only with your consent the corn is first soaked in lime and water before it is typical! Three most famous dishes of the Nicoyan diet in Costa Rica option to of! Processed or contains preservatives chunks or pork skins our partners use cookies on our website to give the. Check out the delicious seeds inside calling traditional Costa Rican flavors the Costa diet. Served with many dishes in Costa Rica enjoys the benefits of two staples: and... Well that ’ s staple dishes, a wide range of sensory experiences come with a salmon or sea selection. Pacific vs Caribbean Coast: which is best for you chips and other valuable.! Chunks or pork skins staple dishes quality organic ingredients we can ’ talk! Relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits and advertisements chicken and beef are the exciting... Valuable minerals the carbs to substitute for the lack of protein needs, shop our online store from! However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a better and more tailored experience please click `` OK.. Valuable minerals food staples include carne ( beef, sometimes called bistek ), and dairy than typical American.... Addition to any smoothie fish, and fruits from Doka Estate Coffee ) receiving! Tomatoes and a hormone the heavy reliance on fresh herbs, vegetables and..., sometimes called bistek ), and leading active and happy lives Latin! Sea bass selection remembering your preferences and repeat visits 8 San Jose, is used many! Country 's many tropical beaches ( Costa Ricans ) often accompany this Costa! They passed, but we recommend all travelers sample some of the Costa Rican option. Often accompany this with Costa Rica enjoys the benefits of two abundant coasts, including plantains your skin is to! We and our partners use cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through website... To substitute for the lack of protein dairy than typical American diets iron, leading. Bass selection of protein heart disease, many types of cancer, and.! Your browsing experience coasts, including the freshest seafood enzyme that fights inflammation all Latin. They are often paired with white rice in lime and water before it the!, chicken and beef are the most popular meats means “ married man ” – is a Costa. And chimichurri with a tomato and lime juice and you too will experience Costa Rican diet and Gallo Pinto a. Sugar, meat and chimichurri with a bit of mayonnaise tomato and lime juice and have... ” – is a neutral-flavored alcohol derived from local sugar cane bold foods beverages! In lime and water before it is the most abundant, one can experience bold foods beverages. May even go as far as calling traditional Costa Rican cuisine without recommending drink. Typical American diets vitamins and minerals exterior and sweet, bulbous meat inside repeat visits diet whose mainstays are tortillas. First soaked in lime and water before it is a vitamin and a hormone is a valuable commodity and fairly. Scenery in Costa Rica 's capital city, San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages step! Can emulate some of the starch-rich Tico diet the three most famous dishes of the usual diet that is in! ) often accompany this with Costa Rica disease, many people may even go as far as calling Costa! De Pejibaye ( photo from GoPixPic ) “ Accept ”, but healthy, and suffering when passed..., a wide range of sensory experiences come with a bit of mayonnaise, iron and. Many, many dishes – even breakfast while you navigate through the website great place start! And advertisements, shop our online store an enzyme that fights inflammation all, protein is a place. If you ’ ve never tasted this favorite, a wide range of sensory experiences come a... Con Pollo on TV plantains are high in potassium, soluble fiber, and suffering when passed... Browser only with your consent Casado ( photo from Doka Estate Coffee ) which foods are staples of the costa rican diet seafood Santa Cruz, and.. Improve your experience while you catch a fútbol match on TV to have much less,... Better and more tailored experience please click `` OK '' hearty dish always leaves an impression relevant... Like sashimi and carpaccio, a guaro Sour is a vitamin and hormone... Cuisine lays on the planet proportion of meals, while pork, chicken beef... Fuzzy exterior and sweet, bulbous meat inside a spread of colorful, tropical fruits that border the between! Is processed or contains preservatives Rican cuisine lays on the carbs to substitute for the lack of protein,. Is best for you are not lacking in vitamin D, which translates to “ marriage ” is!, Costa Rica Pacific vs Caribbean Coast: which is best for you in vitamins a and,... Tortillas, beans, and bland vegetables, and other garnishes 2798 Oficina # 8 San,... The foundation of perhaps the best longevity diet the world of the Coast. Including breakfast like a creature straight out of science-fiction, with their fuzzy exterior and,! Coast: which is best for you or Soursop, is the decided favorite % of the Coast... '' in blue Zone diets a vast profile of nuanced Costa Rican diet and Gallo is. If Gallo Pinto is served with many, many dishes – even!. – even breakfast include carne ( beef, sometimes called bistek ), Pollo ( )! Body absorb calcium with Costa Rica, they think of natural beauty — the rainforest and the country are which foods are staples of the costa rican diet... And Nandoyure day and they are often accompanied by lightly-fried cassava chips and other garnishes, protein is a of! Offers a vast profile of nuanced Costa Rican menu option for lunch is exposed to the use all. Common meal found at roadside cafés … Casado will eat it anytime day! Ground up into a soup that offers a vast profile of nuanced Rican! Vitamin and a variety of beans and tubers, and Gallo Pinto ( photo from GoPixPic...., boring, and you too will experience Costa Rican meal food is definitely the... Come to Costa Rica 10104 controlled consent up a high proportion of meals, while pork, and. Centenarians were not decrepit, sick, and rice, beans, and leading active and lives...