Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cuisine in Costa Rica

We love life in our temporary home in Costa Rica. We're fulfilling God's calling with some of the most dedicated people we've ever met. Consequently, we feel honored and blessed every day. That is not to say that we haven't had to adjust. There are some things you can't get down here, like our favorite breakfast cereals (e.g., Frosted Mini-Wheats). Another cereal we can't find is All-Bran Bran Buds (they're little balls of bran mixed with psilliam). I call them "tootee buds." I bought some basic bran cereal down here, so it's not like I’m all bound up. In fact, some of the products down here work in my favor. For example, we have all increased our consumption of beans by 100 fold over what we ate at home. Yesterday, Lena and I had fried eggs over beans and rice for breakfast. I would not be surprised to find frijoles (beans) flavored ice cream down here. (See the note below for the funny story behind this picture.)

Another high fiber food is oatmeal, which has the whole grain in the mix. It's like eating the shell left behind by a cicada--mixed with brown sugar and raisins. They don't sell brown sugar for baking, but they do sell it as a drink. The Ticos drink brown sugar melted in water or milk as a hot drink. So, I buy the drink mix and put it in our oatmeal. They put sugar with caramel in their baking. They love caramel down here and put the flavor in everything. It works for me.

They have really good potato chips down here. I love potato chips that have burnt edges and that's just they way they make them here. In the states, I rarely eat potato chips (preferring peanuts and pretzels). But, chips are popular here, so it’s my form of cultural adaptation. We left some chips out over night and were able to catch this small family of bears sampling them.

Funny story about the beans and rice picture, above: In deciding to write about beans and rice (which is called Gallo Pinto), I thought a picture would help everyone have a better idea of what we are eating. So, I did a search on Google images. The picture, above, came up. When I looked at it, I got a funny feeling, noticing that whoever took the picture had the same table cloth, dishes and cups as we do. (Note the blue table cloth in the potato chip picture.) I clicked on the picture to see it's source and burst out laughing. It is from the blog of my friends Dave & Kelly Godzwa. They're missionaries to Mexico and lived in our apartment last year. Here's a link to Dave's blog, which contains a description of the Costa Rican sausage and traditional coffee brewing method that completed their Tico breakfast.


novelesm said...

Your post made me feel a little homesick Bill for that far off land of Toledo . . . tear, Toledo, OH. Perhaps it's not another country or anything but there are PLENTY of bean and rice breakfast, lunch, and dinners that I've missed over the years, lol!

I'm glad things are going great for you down in La America Central and I'm really digging the pictures. Bears, hah! Comedy like that is like shooting fish in a barrel, lol!

Can't wait for the next post and God bless Bill, esm :-D

P.S. Don't forget to control your amygdala during those long study nights and ask yourself, "How does that make you feel?"

Much love :-)

Dave said...

Who'd thought I become one of the go down in history as a cited chronicler of Costa Rican breakfast food? I guess that just shows the power of the Internet, or does it foreshadow the world domination of Google? Anyway, thanks for the plug.