Reflections on Eating in Costa Rica

I hope you enjoyed the last two weeks of blog info about eating in Costa Rica.  Being Mexican mom, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I equate food with love, so these blog posts are dear to my heart.  As I reflect back on the last two weeks worth of blog posts, I have come to appreciate a few things about eating in Costa Rica.

1)  Preparing a meal involves much more than cooking.  Between going to the grocery store and la Feria, I have to walk at least two miles round trip for the ingredients of all of our meals.  The return leg of the trip back home is uphill while carrying a heavy backpack full of produceand groceries.  Because I don’t have a lot of the gadgets I used to have back in the USA, I have to be more creative in how I prepare the meal.  Often, a little muscle and ingenuity go a long way.  After we finish eating, we toss the organic leftovers such as peels, seeds, and scraps into our compost pile.  This does not sound like a big deal until you realize that it is usually dark and raining here around dinnertime.  The ditch where we toss the compost is just beyond the reach of our porch light, so it can be a scary and wet chore.  And we cannot wait till morning because leaving the compost in the kitchen overnight will invite unwanted cloud forest visitors into our house.  Because meal prep involves so much more effort than simply chopping and cooking, I have learned to appreciate the meals on our table much more.

2)  I have learned to appreciate the high quality of nutrition we are able to enjoy in such a small community.  After going to Nicaragua and Brazil, I realize how lucky we are to have access to tasty ingredients here in Monteverde.  We have delicious cheese, yogurt, bread, produce, chocolate products, and of course the best coffee in the world.  We may not have fancy restaurants or gourmet grocery shops, but we have access to healthy, simple ingredients that allow us to make wonderful meals.

3)  Always be ready to share what is on your plate.  Many Ticos keep their door open during the day, and we have adopted that custom.  If we are home during the day, our door is wide open.  This culture allows for friends to drop by at any time, which is such a blessing that I could afford in my former life in the US when my free time was limited or non-existent.  It is such a wonderful thing to be able to ask a visiting friend to stay for dinner without previous planning.  It may not be a fancy dinner, but it will be healthy and made with love.

4)  Food is a terrible thing to waste.  Because preparing meals involves a lot more effort here than it did in the USA and the prevalent culture of simplifying in Costa Rica, we have all learned to avoid food waste.  We eat all our leftovers.  The only items we compost are the parts of produce that can’t be eaten.

Remember to tune in next week as I blog about our trip to the Pantanal in Brazil.

Pura Vida!

About Noemi Gamel

Noemi Gamel is a physician who prefers writing diverse children's fantasy stories instead of medical charts. She is a geeky nomad, too.
This entry was posted in Foodie Stuff, Living in Costa Rica, Reflections, Simplifying. Bookmark the permalink.

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