International Coffee Day

I was (pleasantly) surprised to notice/discover that today is International Coffee Day! In honor of the day, I thought I'd just post a quick picture of some coffee, fresh off of the coffee plant! When the seeds are red like that, they're ready to be picked and processed (which is a fairly long process in and of itself). But that's a story for another day. In the meantime, if you'd like to see more pictures of coffee, you can check out my album here. Thanks for reading, and thanks to our lovely Read more [...]

This is Bananas

Hi there! My dad recently sent me this video, which inspired me to do a post: As you can see, bananas are surprisingly interesting. Here in Costa Rica, they're much more commonly grown on the Caribbean coast, which isn't as visited by tourists as the Pacific coast. It's a shame, since it's a beautiful area, but it's also more difficult to get to. And I suppose that also makes it more of a hidden gem. But you can also find bananas throughout the rest of the country, including in our own back Read more [...]

Costa Rican Food: Miel de Ayote

Good evening! It's nearly Halloween, or it may even already be Halloween where you are, and you know what that means: you're probably going to have a lot of pumpkin left over on November 1st! That's why I decided to write this post, since an ayote is a gourd that's pretty similar to a pumpkin. I understand that I probably should have written this post a week or two ago when people were carving pumpkins, but then again, it's not like they're actually going to eat the pumpkins they carved. So, here's Read more [...]

Costa Rican Food: Flor de Itabo

I had meant to write this post about a Costa Rican food specialty back in April, but to be honest I simply forgot. I was going to then wait until next April to write it, but I figured I'd just forget it again. Plus, it's not like most people who read this will have access to flor de itabo if they're outside of Costa Rica. So, since it's more of a curiosity, I'll just talk about it now. As you can probably get from the name, it's a type of flower, and it blooms from a spiky, yucca-like Read more [...]

Costa Rican Food: Chorreadas de Elote

I was eating at my in-laws' house the other day when my mother-in-law gave me this: If you don't know what that is, then you don't know Costa Rica. It's a chorreada, also called a chorreada de elote. Actually, it's three of them. It's basically ground fresh corn that's cooked like a pancake and served with heavy sour cream. They're quite tasty, although my wife claims they make you fart. You can be the judge. In any case, I wanted to share the picture, and include this link to a post I wrote Read more [...]

Costa Rican Food: Rice and Beans

Quick, how do you say "rice and beans" in Spanish? Arroz con frijoles? Frijoles con arroz? Well, those are both kind of right, but if you're in the Caribbean part of Costa Rica, you just say "Rice and Beans." Sure, the pronunciation is a bit different, maybe a little more staccato, but the real difference is in the flavor. I've mentioned before that in many ways, Costa Rican cooking is somewhat bland, at least for my tastes. When people visit, they expect it to be like Mexican food, but are Read more [...]

Weekend Update: Rice, Beans, and Telephone Scams

Things here in Costa Rica are going well and there's not too much to report. However, I did come across an interesting cooking blog post this week on a blog called "Cocina Costarricense" ("Costa Rican Cooking"). As you may remember, I've mentioned Costa Rica's love for rice and beans before. In fact, it's their national dish, and it even has a name: Gallo Pinto ("Painted Roster," but don't try to make sense of the name, since there's no sense to be found there). It's about as tasty as a fairly Read more [...]

Five Things That Make Me Uneasy About This Milk In A Bag

The other day I went to the pulpería on the way home from work. Just so you know, a pulpería is like a Costa Rican convenience store, although quite a bit less convenient. I'll really have to do a separate post about them sometime. But the point is this: they sell basic foods, and they're in most little towns in Costa Rica. They also usually have better hours than a supermarket, so you can do things like picking up milk on the way home from work at 9:50 pm. Which is exactly what I did. But instead Read more [...]