The Festival Internacional de las Artes is known for its shows, music, dancing, comedy and other crowd pleasers.
But this year as the cultural event moves into the suburban areas, there also is an emphasis on food. Organizers said that typical Costa Rican dishes will be served. These include chinchiví, a sugar drink; chicha, a corn drink; chicharrones, a pork dish; tamales; gallos de picadillos, a chorizo tortilla; tortillas aliñadas, a cheese dish, and gallina enjarrada. The last is a chicken filled with an egg and potato stuffing and cooked wrapped in a banana leaf.
The bulk of the festival events are being held in Acosta, Alajuelita, Aserrí and Desamparados this year. And the local chefs are preparing the food.
For example, the Lions Club in Aserrí will be the vendors there.
The festival is from next Thursday to May 3 and organized by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.
Festival officials have provided training for those who will be handling food so they can do so in a professional manner.
As with many countries, the traditional dish is not the same in different areas. That is true with the traditional Costa Rican foods, even though they may have the same name.
So festival officials are promoting regional variations.
They said they also hope that small businesses will take advantage of the opportunity and that some businesses may endure after the festival has gone.