Costa Rican Cuisine

March 9, 2016 - Monteverde, Costa Rica

So here at last is the post about all the amazing food Maricella made during my time in Monteverde! This post won't have much of a story, but I just wanted to describe some of the wonderful things I got to try. Maricella's cooking was imaginative and delicious, and she put so much effort into making vegetarian food for me and trying out foods that I liked that were new to her.

First of all, though, I want to update you on what I'm doing right now. My plans with Kelly and Eliza have changed somewhat: I'm only spending two and a half weeks traveling with them instead of five, which means I'm leaving this Thursday. They'll continue traveling in Nicaragua together for a few more weeks, while I'm going back to Monteverde. I'll have about a week to visit everyone again, and then on the 31st I'm flying out of San Jose to come back to Burlington. It's very strange to have an end date for my traveling after all this time, but I am so ready to be home!

Now back to the food! I have 21 pictures of various meals I enjoyed (only counting the ones that Maricella made, not cooking classes or eating out)! Since I can't possibly describe all of them in depth, I'm choosing four to highlight and then the rest will just be the pictures.

The first is pesto pasta, which Maricella hadn't ever made before. I told her I really liked it, and she immediately decided we were going to make it. When we were out at the community farm we bought a lot of basil and parsley, and then after some confusion when I tried to explain pine nuts (which apparently don't exist in Monteverde!), we continued with a modified recipe. The end result was far more delicious than the picture can show, and Maricella made it several more times during my time in Monteverde.

Possibly my favorite thing that Maricella made was canelones, a dish that I had never heard of before. It consists of large pasta tubes stuffed with vegetables and sometimes meat (for me, usually carrots and green beans) and drenched in tomato sauce. Served with rice and beans, it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten! :)

Another firm favorite was Maricella's burritos, which were slightly different every time depending on what was available but always tasty. They were usually some combination of seasoned rice, vegetables, and beans, and they were toasted on the stove before serving which made them deliciously warm and crunchy. The picture is from Ali's birthday lunch; as you can see, Maricella went above and beyond by making guacamole and corn tortilla chips (both homemade) to go with the burritos!

The most traditional dish I got to try, and another of my favorites, was a rice, bean, and hard-boiled egg soup. It was always served with avocado and was absolutely wonderful. I was really surprised the first time to find beans and rice being served in a soup form, but as soon as I'd tasted it I knew I'd definitely be trying it at home! I'm also looking forward to trying the chayote (squash) with soy mince and cheese inside.

This was just a sample, but I really loved every single dish that Maricella cooked. (There was one incident soon after I arrived with some yucca mashed with cheese, but even that I liked when I had it again later!) Every meal was special, even when I requested just rice and beans for a packed lunch, or even when Maricella didn't have the time she usually had to make a meal. And keep in mind that especially the breakfasts were a triumph in and of themselves, because she made them, got herself ready for work, and got Maya ready for school, all often before I even woke up!

I am so excited to see Maricella, Maya, Ali, Luis, Randy, Mary, and everyone again when I get back to Monteverde in three days! There will be another post soon about my adventures with Kelly and Eliza but in the meantime I'll leave you to dream about Maricella's food!

WORD OF THE BLOG POST: la comida (n.): food

This choice is self-explanatory, but even though I already knew the word before this experience I definitely discovered new depth to it! It's also a really useful word to know (along with dónde (where), baño (bathroom), and agua (water) of course). :)


Homemade Pesto Pasta
Tortilla Omelet with Fruit and Tea
Canelones with Tomato Sauce, Rice and Beans
Squash and Soy Dinner


March 22, 2016
Wow, delicious! It looks like a restaurant meal every day! Very cool that you took all those pictures: a wonderful culinary reminder of what a blessing Maricella has been. :)
March 23, 2016
And there you were in my spam mail. I wondered where you went!
The food sounds wonderful as does Maricella! You really lucked out there.
It will be good to know when you are back in the relative safety of the USA. Real spring should arrive just ahead of you!
April 13, 2016

That is all.
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