Traditional

  • A world class COFFEE... in Barva, Heredia

     

     
     
    Do you like coffee, but really good coffee? Then you have to visit "Castilla Coffee House" in Barva, Heredia, where Diego, a young economist and a coffee lover such as his dad, Mister William, will offer you an excellent cup of coffee with a different taste to those you have tasted before. The coffee they offer to the visitors comes from the main coffee producing areas of Costa Rica and is of gourmet type top quality. 
     
    You can choose the coffee you wish, choosing between a more acid, intense, sweet, flavored or more balanced taste. Additionally, you will find delicious homemade snacks that they prepare themselves for these special cups of coffee. Part of the experience that you will live is that any information you wish to know about the Costa Rican coffee, any details, history or others, they will know how to answer you because they have been and always will be true coffee lovers. "What better experience is having a coffee... but informed". 
    Further remembering that Costa Rica is one of the best coffee producers in the world, especially for its quality and not volume.
    Café Castilla has been 11 years in the same place with the main intention of offering the "diversification of coffee by region in Costa Rica".
    Location: Barva, Heredia, 125 meters south of the Municipality. You can also find them using Waze. They are open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 to 20:00.
     
     
     
  • A pleasant way to prepare coffee

     

     
     
    *A 100% local product, crafted by Costa Rican artisans.
     
     
    While we were taking a walk through the FID (International Design Festival) recently held in our country, the brand CR Woodcraft captured our attention immediately. We stopped and approached the small stand with its product that, in my opinion, where almost unique in their design. Mario León, who kindly provided us his presentation card, commented that he, along with his friend David and his two brothers where the ones that started this woodcraft brand. 
     
    The name of the brand has its origin in using wood as the main product and producing or doing something with dedication, skill and ingenuity: to craft.
     
    The products of the brand CR Woodcraft have as purpose a "daily use" either in the house or in the office. Among their main products we can find the famous "Chorreador de Café", crafted with great taste and "La Colmena", an attractive honey dispenser. Both products are inspired in the direct relationship between bees and coffee flowers due to caffeine. They wish to take this to people that enjoy beauty and design in daily life products. 
     
    Something that really captured our attention is their intention to elaborate their products with total integrity. That is why, as a group, they have decided to support local artisans with the elaboration of their products. They extract the raw material they use only from forests managed responsibly and have invested a percentage of the utilities in planting new forests through the Association "Let's plant trees", in which Mario is also he co-founder. 
     
    Because of this, it would be an excellent option for an exclusive souvenir from Costa Rica to take to your home or office, but above all, of great use in the morning for preparing breakfast or any other activity where you wish to share with others a good Costa Rican coffee or some toasts with honey. 
     
    For more information: https://www.crwoodcraft.com/
    Photos by CR Woodcraft
     
     
     
     
     

     

     

     
  • Are you in Costa Rica this December? Enjoy the Festival of Light!

     
     
    It is a very popular tradition that each year, the Municipality of San José in Costa Rica organizes for the month of December the famous "Festival of Light" during the evening. It can be said that the activity marks the beginning of Christmas in the main streets of the San José province. 
     
    This year the event is taken place on Saturday December 17 at 6 pm, normally the second Saturday of the month. Attractive carriages and music bands from all over the country, with the support of private and public companies, organizations and associations, will show their talent and creativity using lights. 
     
    Normally, this parade starts in front of the national gymnasium on 42 Street.  It goes all the way through Paseo Colón, then along Second Avenue and it finishes in front of the Church of the Solitude. This year, the grand marshal is the well-known cyclist Andrey Amador. 
     
    The people that come to the parade will be part of a spectacle full of color, lights and joy. It is an event for every member of the family and also foreigners and tourists that are visiting our country. Because of this, we recommend you to schedule this to be one of your activities. Also, we would like you to remember that, during these dates in the country, there are cold winds during the night and it is important to wear warm clothing and comfortable shoes due to the amount of hours you could be standing on your feet.  If you like, bring some snacks and a hot water vessel with a hot drink. 
     
     
     
     
     
    Big talent and creativity using lights.
     
  • Caribbean flavour...near the city!

     

     
     
    Are you visiting Costa Rica for business or pleasure? You cannot miss the opportunity of tasting the delicious Caribbean cuisine of our country. You will find it very accessible or almost normal if you visit for tourism the Atlantic area, but it will take you a few hours traveling there. For this reason, we give an excellent option if you are only staying in San José and not planning on visiting the Atlantic area. This alternative, very close to San José donwtown, is called "Caribbean Delights" in Tibás Coffee and Lunch. 
     
    This little restaurant, decorated with many colors of the Caribbean culture, offers you diverse snacks and Caribbean dishes for lunch, a coffee in the afternoon or a dinner prepared in a rapid way. Among the dishes they offer you can find: patty, rice and beans, plantains, Caribbean sweet bread, chicken-meat or fish Caribbean style, banana and carrot cupcakes, and of course, the refreshing Caribbean drinks such as  "hiel" with sugar, lemon and ginger, and the "sorrel" with Jamaican rose and ginger. But the most different thing about this place is the delicious Caribbean sauce they prepare. You will want to put more of this sauce to your Caribbean dish. 
     
    Location: San Juan de Tibás, Plaza del Valle. Only 10 minutes away from San José downtown. https://www.facebook.com/caribbeandelights.cr/?fref=ts
     
     
     
  • Churchill’ s Ice Cream

    Have you heard about the famous “Churchill” in CR? 

     It is a product usually sold in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Especially for relieve thirst an heat.

    The ingredients are ice, kola syrup, condensed milk, powdered milk, and sometimes it includes ice cream and wafers.

    Now you can get it in a different way.   Also known as a Churchill’s Ice Cream.  The taste is very similar to the original crushed ice Churchill’s of Puntarenas. 

    With your visit to CR you should try them. They are delicious!!! You can get this product in San José:  www.facebook.com/DeliciasLaConstancia

  • CORN DELICIOUSNESS

    Products based on sweet or dry corn, they offer sweet and savory foods for your enjoyment. Some of the ingredients used are sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter and cheese.

    These products can be combined with hot drinks such as coffee or cold ones such as horchata and resbaladera.

  • Pottery is Rescuing our Costa Rican Culture

     

    Recently, we have been in a high-level-artisan exhibition whose brand name is “Enraizados” (“enraizados”: deeply rooted). This is a pottery-based project that has been developed taking the Costa Rican Culture as a key element. They used the word “rooted” as a pretext for their logo and all their workshop design concept. 

    Among their main products are the “Mascarada” cups (“mascarada”: masquerade), although they make many other ones like coffee-filtering objects, jugs, glasses, and also spoons. “Enraizados” has also been dedicated to develop personalized projects and pieces like sculptures, or artistic projects. 

    Its artist and owner, José Eduardo Montero Montero, is telling us that his objective is to be known by all the possible people. But, his main public is composed by those adults who are appreciating the unique culture and design. He is also addressing to those ones who are interested on the popular culture.

    The popular “Barveña” masquerade is a patrimonial good and the Enraizados brand is trying to take this part of our people to the homes with the most people number, its owner emphasized.

    The personalized design is one of the greatest attributes of these Costa Rican pottery artists. It also stands out the exclusiveness, because each piece is unique and completely handmade. So, this guarantees that two pieces are not exactly the same. The design shown in the pieces is very well thought, due to the fact that it tries to recognize and appreciate our traditional mask makers’ remnants.

    The “Enraizados” handmade and artistic pottery is not hesitating that the next year 2018 would be full of new products and characters on its “mascarada” cups. It would also have architectural projects with environments’ design. 

    But, where can we get an exclusive “Enraizados” cup? We can get it at Kiosko San José (San José Newsstand), Satisfactory, Finca Rosa Blanca Hotel, El Cajoncito, and Camanance, among other design shops in San José and Heredia.

    In the same way, at Correos de Costa Rica (Costa Rica’s Post Office) and at cajoncito.com one can find the service that is sending these products to other countries. More information:  https://www.facebook.com/enraizadosceramica/

     

    Photos by:  Enraizados

     

     

  • Saúl Bistro inside a very special house

     
    The new restaurant Saúl Bistro, located in Curridabat, keeps inside its walls a history of nearly one hundred years. The first owners of this house gave to it a great personality by introducing exuberant flora and promoting harmonious environments. 
     
    Besides the somewhat eclectic style that you can experience in this new restaurant, you can find a varied menu where the famous crepes stand out, as there is broad selection of both sweet and savory options. This makes it difficult to decide what to order.
     
    Just as the crepes, there is also a broad selection of cold, hot and alcoholic beverages. Also, you can find gluten-free products and vegetarian options. 
     
    This can be an excellent destination for you, your friends and your family, where you can taste a good coffee, a glass of wine or a natural energetic drink. Or, if you wish, you can have a delicious lunch or dinner. The brand Saúl Bistro first entered our country trough its stores dedicated to selling causal and elegant clothing for men. But now, it has made its incursion into gastronomy with a truly unique style that promotes a contemporary atmosphere combining European avant-garde with a solid Latin identity. 
    More information: 2279-0111/ 2279-0202. Location: Curridabat  Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaulBistroPinares
     
     
     
     
  • Summer is JOY in Costa Rica

     
     
    When packing for a trip to the beach, pool, river or lake in our country there is something women cannot forget in our suitcase: the useful and comfortable swimwear cover-ups, as they protect us from the sun when we do not want too much. And, this piece of clothing gives us style in a relaxed way. 
     
    The flashy robes to protect from the sun of the designer Francesca Arati in Costa Rica have arrived and they are one of the most attractive beach clothing in our section "Local Shop". With the hot summer we are facing now in Costa Rica, where the temperatures during mornings and afternoons go up to 29 or 30 Celsius degrees, this type of garment is almost indispensable in the luggage.
     
    The concept of this new collection is about "Joy", using intense colors and geometric figures inspired in flowers, which stand out in the prints that are unique designs of the brand. They come in a light fabric, soft to the touch, polyester type and are available in 4 different prints in their online store. 
     
    We have no doubt that this new collection is focused on women that are looking for more versatile, fresh and exclusive designer clothing. The brand Francesca Arati was born in 2015 as a proposal of a 100% Costa Rican design, using mainly printed fabrics design by the founder Sofía Espinoza Tosi. Web:  www.francescaarati.com
     
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrancescaAratiDesign/   Online store:  http://www.francescaarati.com/#/products
     
     
     
     
     
  • Sustainable and Healthy Costa Rican Gastronomy

     

     

     
    * A country strategy led by CACORE in Costa Rica at the time.
     
     
    Innovation with cultural identity, fair trade, fresh products, native, with sustainable practices, and above all, with nutritional balance: these is what the Costa Rican National Sustainable and Healthy Plan is looking for, coordinated by the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants and Related (CACORE). The initiative strengthens the productive clusters, impacting the general population and the foreign tourists that visit our country. 
     
    This new plan aims to position the Costa Rican gastronomy as a component of the "Costa Rican" touristic destination additional to the other attractions our county has, using native and regional plants in the elaboration of its gastronomic menus. 
     
    In this way, our Costa Rican gastronomy can be positioned in the national and international levels with a diverse, sustainable, healthy and creative offer, promoting at the end the productive clusters that will benefit the producers and entrepreneurs, and with that, it will help boost the local and national economy, 
     
    Some important parts that this plan incorporates are: the conservation of the edible biodiversity resources, sustainable and organic production of native foods, innovative and traditional uses, national and touristic consumers with better health and wellbeing, and a higher human development (better positioned destination), said míster Alejandro Madrigal, Executive Director of CACORE. 
     
    When you visit our country is very possible that you will find a restaurant, cafeteria or even a small food place somewhere in the rural area that already fulfill this "attributes" as an added value and therefore, you will be a part of this gastronomic cluster. 
     
    For more information of the list of restaurants that belong to his plan designed by CACORE: www.cacoreactual.com
     
     
    Photo by:  CACORE
     
  • The Delicious "Gallos" within the Costa Rican Food

    Maybe you had heard about it, or the term “Gallo” was completely new for you when you visited our country. 

     
    The “Gallo” or “Gallito” is a very typical meal of the Costa Rican Culinary Culture. Generally, the “Gallo” is prepared with a white or yellow corn “tortilla” (corn pancake). On this “tortilla”, we put delicious finely chopped ingredients, cheese, an egg omelette, or the favorite meat.   
     
    This meal is very used in the typical parties, or in family celebrations. It is also a simple and easy home dish without the traditional rice, an ingredient that is always present in the famous “casado”, like another carbohydrate. 
     
    Personally, in this blog, we love the “Arracache Gallo”, (the “arracache” is known as “arracacha” in other Spanish speaking countries). This is a very appreciated tuber in our country, that is seasoned with many spices, garlic, and some times it is prepared with meat. We also have the chopped green plantain “Gallo”, the Turrialba Cheese “Gallo”, or the palm heart “Gallo” that is very common to get while traveling to the North Region of San Carlos. There are a lot of Turrialba Cheese selling places in this route. The same one is a fresh handmade cheese.   
     
     
    A dish with “Gallos” or a simple “Gallo” are very common in a typical Costa Rican menu, so you would always see them on it when visiting Costa Rica. They are present in restaurants or in traditional, home, or typical food “sodas” (“soda”: a kind of snack bar). You can find these dishes in the famous San José Central Market.    
     
    It is common to receive a “Gallo” on corn pancakes called “Tortiricas”. This is a traditional and very old “tortilla” brand in our country. You can also eat them on handmade corn pancakes, prepared by a good cook. Therefore, this is something that you should taste when being in Costa Rica.   
     
    You can get a delicious "Gallo"  in the "Soda Tala" in the Central Market of San Jose. More information:  https://www.facebook.com/Soda-Tala-201049860065851/
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • The Holy Week HERE

     

     

    It is almost certain that this is one of the hottest seasons in our country, maybe with one or two quakes, but there is nothing to worry about.  The public labor sector normally takes the whole week for vacations and the private sector works until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    The Holy Week is also a time for family gathering in our country because many families travel far to see their relatives wherever they are in the different provinces. Or simply staying home resting and watching seasonal movies.

    The Holy Week in Costa Rica has strong traditions.  Among them the Catholic Church prepares the well-known "Procesiones", religious activities on the streets, some with theatrical dramatization personages and passages from the Bible.  Specific regions in the country stand out for preparing in advance dramatizations of great artistic value such as San José downtown and also San Joaquín de Flores in Heredia province, where a lot of people go to observe them.

    Of course food cannot be missing, among the most famous dishes for the Holy Week you can find: the Chiverre -a strand-fruit that is cooked for several hours with "tapa de dulce", cinnamon and clove, and it ends up being a sweet preserve, traditionally served cold with ice cream or rice pudding, or using it for bread or in Chiverre empanadas (patty)... Delicious for the palate! Another product is the Itabo flower hash, and also the green papaya hash, prepared sweet grapefruit, rice with heart of palm, salmon, sardine, or special seafood of the season.

    The days during the Holy Week pass by in our country in a calmer way. There is less traffic in the Great Metropolitan Area because families rest in their homes or they go to touristic places such as beaches to make a stop along the way and put their body and mind in calm and reflection.

     

    "Procesiones" religious activities on the streets. The Chiverre is a big fruit.  Chiverre Patty!!

                                                                                                                                

     

     
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • The house of the “Cajetas”

     
    Have you ever heard of the “cajetas” in Costa Rica? And how these are never missing after a family lunch or even dinner?
    They are homemade artisanal candy that Costaricans love as part of their traditions.
     
    In a small house in the center of Tarbaca about 5 or 6 kilometers from Aserri,  the ”Cajetas” have their place.
     
    Some “Cajetas” are made with powdered milk, coconut, nuts, peanuts and   macadamia. There are some made with a milk base and some made with “Tapa de Dulce” (a form of cooked cane sugar).
     
    At the “Casita de la Cajeta” you will find a delicious traditional treat to carry in your suitcase and share with your friends and family back home.
    For More information: 2230-6156. Located:  Tarbaca de Aserrí.

     
  • The traditional "Olla de carne" Costa Rican style

     
     
    For the soup lovers, in Costa Rica there is a famous and powerful "Olla de carne". It literally means "Beef soup". Probably since a long time ago, it has been made in the homes of the Costa Rican people. Our great-grandparents and grandparents cooked the soup as a staple food during the week. They cooked it with vegetables produced in their own homes or acquired in exchange with their neighbors for other products they have grown. Back at the time, the "Olla de carne" was an affordable meal for the majority of the population. Since it was made in huge cooking pots, large families could eat from that pot and always with great health benefits.  
     
    The traditional "Olla de carne" is a broth containing vegetables such as potato, yucca, yams, corn, tiquisque, ñampí, bananas, carrots, tacacos, plantain, squash, and, of course, small or medium pieces of beef. When the broth is cooked, it is used to complement the other ingredients.  Additionally, it has "olores", which are a mix of herbs and spices of vivid colors like cilantro, onion, red pepper, celery, garlic, and others, depending on the person that is cooking this delicious recipe. 
     
    If you like to try the authentic beef soup, be sure to visit the Central Market, located San José downtown. Also, you can visit some of the restaurants that offer typical food; you can find them in every province. One option is the Restaurant and Café "Las Delicias" in the center of Zapote in San José, where every Wednesday they offer this dish to their visitors. This is an excellent choice if you want to try the Costa Rican cuisine that will revive your senses. 
    More information: 2283-9935 / Location: Zapote, San José / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeliciasLaConstancia/?ref=ts&fref=ts
     
    Delicious Olla de Carne
     
     
     
  • The traditional "Tamal" during the Christmas season

     
     
    Today I wish to tell all of our followers in this blog which are the most famous traditional foods in Costa Rica during Christmas. 
     
    We will start with the "tamal", a meal that cannot be lacking in many Costa Rican homes. This meal is mead with corn dough and each family prepares it in a unique way.  It has different ingredients that are previously cooked and prepared, like carrots, sweet pepper, hemstitch, rice, and pork meat. In some cases, some people add potato cut in squares, olives, eggs, raisins, or ever plums.
     
    Also, some people prefer chicken instead of pork or even some other options for vegetarians. The tamal is later wrapped in green bananas leaves that have been previously put in a pan. People use a rope to tie it up.
     
    Later, the tamales are boiled a few hours so the dough can be cooked, they have normally a rectangular shape. The traditional tamales can be cooked for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.  It is a very flexible meal in the Costa Rican cuisine during the Christmas season. Additionally, you can have it with a good coffee or with an "aguadulce", a typical sweet Costa Rican drink. Also, if you wish for the tamal to have more flavors , you can put a spoon-size amount of "salsa inglesa" (Costa Rican sauce) to it. You can find the tamales in many homes in Costa Rica or in different establishments such as restaurants or sodas.