Southern zone invited to show traditional cookery

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photos Judges are seeking traditional presentations like these from prior events.

What are the traditional dishes along the south Pacific coast. That is a question food historians will seek to answer Saturday as residents of that area are invited to demonstrate their unique food products.

This is another of the contests set up by the  Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural at the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. Residents of the cantons of Golfito, Osa and Corredores can compete in three categories: main dish, breads and desserts and traditional drinks.

The contest will be in the Centro de Estudios y Capacitación Cooperativa, which faces the Parque de las Esferas in Palmar Sur. Considering that this area hosts some of the country’s great archaeological sites, the traditions go back way before Columbus. Descendants of those who made the giant stone spheres still live in the area.

The Centro has been taking signups for the event, but those who wish to present a dish or drink can still contact organizers at  2786-6098.

Participating is worthwhile because the prize for the four best main dishes is 500,000 colons each, more than $1,000.

There are three prizes for the best bread or desserts. That amount is 450,000 colons each, more than $900. The top two drink winners will get 225,000 colons each, some $455.

As with other regional food contests, the Centro will be putting the recipes into a booklet for distribution later. Chefs and cooks must supply the recipe along with the dish or drink. The Centro asks that the traditional use of the dish or drink be included if it is typical of a specific social occasion. This is the 13th such event. Plates or drinks can be delivered between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Recipe books from prior contests are available at the nation’s 57 public libraries and many private bookstores.

The southern Pacific has been distant from the Central Valley until recent years when better roads were installed.  In addition there was an immigration of Italians to parts of that area. So the possibilities for unique foods are great.

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