Food in Costa Rica

red flowerCompared with Seattle, the food prices in Costa Rica are much less expensive. That is if you are willing to buy local and not imported goods. Many items are not packed in glass or plastic bottles. Instead they use simple plastic packaging for just about everything from food to cleaning products. I haven't asked anyone why this is the case, but I assume it cuts down on transportation costs and garbage. We now keep the empty jars we do acquire and fill them with the contents of the plastic containers.

no-knead breadWhen we arrived in Ciudad Colon I began making bread. The landlady told me about the no-knead recipe. If you're interested, look up the recipe on the internet, it's easy and delicious. I make a loaf about every 5 days. I am also baking our own sweet treats. I found recipes for chocolate banana bars and granola bars that are quite tasty. I have to be careful to choose recipes that include the ingredients we can easily obtain.

Costa Rica food productsI gave up on the idea of eating as much organic food as possible. In Seattle it was easy with PCC and Whole Foods but not so here. I have been told some grocery stores have organic produce sections but I haven't seen one yet. There is an organic farmers market on Wednesdays in Escazu, but I don't think it would be worth the effort required to get there. The produce we do get tastes wonderful. It is grown locally and usually tastes better than what I was buying in Seattle.

Costa Rica farmer's marketLast weekend the neighbors drove us to the fruit and vegetable market in Santa Ana. This market is about 10x larger than the one in our town. We bought a watermelon, three cantaloupes, a bag of strawberries and two mystery fruits for about $3.00 Today we had fish and chips at the Time Out Restaurant/Bar in Escazu. Again we went with our neighbors and the place was filled with a lot of their gringo friends.

Costa Rica farmer's marketMichael (the "slow" boy from up the street mentioned in my last post) stopped by yesterday. I was walking out to the gate to see where Roxy was running off to and saw him running down the middle of the street. Once again he came right inside our house (the doors are always open when we're home) and sat down like he wanted to hang out. We gave him a few bananas and John carried him towards his house where one of his relatives had just stepped out to look for him.

noni fruitMystery Fruit - Each time at the market we try to buy something new. This time it was the things pictured above. The man selling them wanted to practice his English and told us how great they were. He said they tasted like apples and pears and were good for fruit drinks and salads. From the outside they felt like and looked like a potato full of eyes. We didn't try it when we got home. The next day something smelled funny in the kitchen. I thought maybe one of the melons was overripe. I smelled the foul, rotten scent a few times and realized it wasn't the melons, it was these things. I felt one and it was now soft and gushy. We cut one open, thinking it might not smell the same on the inside, but it did. The sense of smell, for both of us, said this was not something to be consumed and it was thrown into the compost pile.

Costa Rica farmer's marketThis vendor had a large, full bag of strawberries on display for about 600 colones. Our neighbor bought it and our friend asked for another. Somehow the size of the bag decreased by about half... she did not complete the purchase and found a better deal from a different vendor.

Costa Rica farmer's marketLadies drinking fresh coconut milk.

Santa Ana Church, Costa RicaSanta Ana church. A pretty stone building.

sugar cane pressSugar cane being pressed into juice.

very cute small black dogThis post wouldn't be complete without a picture of Roxy doing her trick to get food.
She's so cute!