Category Archives: Food and Entertainment

A Semana Santa treat that requires a hammer to prepare

Chiverre is squash that looks like a watermelon, but the shell is very hard. Inside, the texture is similar to that of a pumpkin but colored white. The season for collecting this member of the cucurbit family (Cucurbita ficifolia) coincides … Continue reading

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Night of tango tonight

Alianza Française will present an evening of tango tonight as part of the Art City Tour 2001. The program is titled “La vida es una milonga,” referring to what a program for tango is called. A musician identified as Oscar … Continue reading

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Even the backyard serves up unexpected bounties of food

It looks like we will be going bananas again. Banana daiquiri, banana splits, baked bananas, banana and Corn Flakes, chocolate covered frozen bananas on a stick. A couple of banana bushes in the back yard just will not quit. Chop … Continue reading

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Here’s how to prepare arepas, the signature dish of Venezuela

Most people identify foods with a particular country. Pizza for Italy, tacos for Mexico and gallo pinto is 100 percent Costa Rican. Well, if you ever want to impress a Venezuelan, you should tell them how much you love their … Continue reading

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The plantain is a fruit that has triple flexibility in kitchen

The culinary landscape of pre-conquest America lacked some of the foods taken for granted today. There was no sugar. That was imported by Columbus on his second voyage. The delicious mango did not grow here. And the banana did not … Continue reading

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Time for a sour green fruit that’s loaded with vitamin C

Among the more underrated offerings of the Costa Rican produce markets is the green mango. Most expats know about ripe mangos and have enjoyed the drippy, juicy fruit with its unique flavor. They may also have used it in blended … Continue reading

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Editor’s favorite soup is easy and very much Costa Rican

Here’s the lowdown on the editor’s favorite soup. One serving is about a zillion calories, so Weight Watchers can tune out now. The beauty of pejibaye soup is that it is easy to make, tastes great and is uniquely Costa … Continue reading

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A few thousand colons provides a bounty of delicious fruits

Delights from star fruit to guavas to the prickly guyabana and the delicate naranjilla are on the market now, and you can get your daily dose of vitamin C with little trouble. In water, milk or cocktails, the fruits give … Continue reading

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Cartago shows off complexities of its cusine with contest

There is a lot more to the Provincia de Cartago than potatoes, and cooks of the communities have joined together to prove that. The event last month was another of the culture ministry’s efforts to capture the nation’s traditions. When … Continue reading

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Heredia’ chef’s signature dish is lasagna without the pasta

Chef Ruben Naranjo at the recently remodeled Bar Restaurant Alex Seth Friends in Santa Barbara de Heredia has as his signature dish lasaña de chile pimienton. A former soccer player turned chef (he was formerly with the Hotel Parador in … Continue reading

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Rare vanilla spice from Quepos produced in fully organic setting

Chefs and hobby cooks from around the world visit Villa Vanilla, a certified organic/biodynamic spice farm operated by Henry Karczynski in Villanueva near Quepos.  The farm grows a variety of spices and essential oil plants, including vanilla, cocoa, and ceylon … Continue reading

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Agricultural officials try to boost unappreciated papaya

Agricultural officials are trying to give a boost to the unappreciated papaya to increase local consumption and exports. The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería is promoting the fruit for its health benefits and said that there are about 1,000 hectares … Continue reading

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Lobster and vanilla simply cry out for some champagne

La Luz executive chef Carlos Zuñiga spent 20 years learning to cook in U.S. East Coast restaurants. Lobster was plentiful, and some of the recipes were quite exotic. When he returned to Costa Rica, he brought the recipes with him. … Continue reading

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Quest for perfect loaf of bread becomes a year-long effort

Few things in life are as simple or complex as bread. The same four essential ingredients — flour, water, yeast and salt — can yield 10,000 different combinations. That’s what author William Alexander discovered when he embarked on a year-long … Continue reading

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Seasonable fruit makes inroads in commercial production here

Some 400 producers of mamón chinos have about 800 hectares (nearly 2,000 acres) planted in the fruit. The country has become the largest exporter of the product in Central America, according to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería. Seven years … Continue reading

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Chayote: The all-purpose MesoAmerican treat

The chayote looks like a big, wrinkled green or white pear. But it really is a gourd and a type of squash. You can eat it creamed, buttered, fried, stuffed, baked, frittered, boiled, mashed and pickled, food experts note. And … Continue reading

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