Are you married? I know, I can tell.
Just kidding. Today’s post comes to you from Costa Rica, where ticos (male Costa Ricans) and ticas (female Costa Ricans) can tell whether or not you’re married based on the heartiness of your meal. Or so legend says. In the “olden” days, a tico or tica could tell whether or not a person was married based on the size of the meal (usually lunch) they ate. People with bigger meals were obviously married, and those with small meals were single.
I am currently in Costa Rica for a summer job; it’s beautiful, humid, and exotic. The rainy season has arrived, so it rains daily, mostly in the afternoons. Torrential down pours are preceded by clear skies, and followed by fresh, cool air. The country breathes life, and fills visitors with love. There is a reason the country’s saying is pura vida (pure life). People here are so happy and full of life!
Last week a co-worker, Emily, took me to her favorite place to eat in San Pedro, a neighborhood of the capital city, San Jose. This restaurant, was more like a food stand that was attached to a supermarket. It is run by a Jamaican woman, and so naturally the dishes served had a Caribbean influence. Emily introduced me to casado; it is comprised of a meat (diner’s choice), rice and beans, plantains, and a salad. This particular casado boasted an Afrocaribbean flare. It wasn’t spicy per se, but flavorful, with a tiny kick. Before I leave, I will return, and really engage my taste buds so that I can recreate the flavors at a later date.
Traveling enlightens and opens our minds, our perspectives, but I think we often forget that travel also opens our mouths to new foods and flavors. I think that is one of my favorite parts of travelling; I get to be in foreign places, collect cooking ideas (and cooking equipment), and then recreate my favorite dishes from far away places in the comfort of my own home.
Here’s to the next meal you make that fondly reminds you of your travels abroad!