Breakfast in Costa Rica, part II: Links and recipes

Yesterday’s live chat focused on breakfast, and I heard (during and afterwards) so many comments, ideas and tips that I decided to do a whole separate post about them all.

As I said in the video, I’ve recently realized that Global Crisis 2020 is – for those of us lucky to be at home – the perfect time to have some comforting Costa Rican breakfasts. They are cheap as hell, hearty and nutritious (depending on how you prepare them), and they’re a great way to reconnect with Costa Rica if you’re out of the country and feeling nostalgic. Talking about food was also a great excuse to discuss some of the amazing food security efforts happening in Costa Rica to enfront the massive threat of hunger right now. Here are some of the things we discussed, with links:

  • Gallo pinto: There are as many recipes for the Costa Rican breakfast staple as there are Costa Ricans, but I like this one because it also includes a recipe for “Almost Salsa Lizano,” if you don’t have any. What’s your favorite?
  • Tortillas: I was taught to make corn tortillas by Green Communities host mothers in Los Santos in Februar, after more than 15 years living in Costa Rica! Gulp. I feel virtuous if I have any part of making tortillas from instant masa harina, but I’ve recently been reading about the joys of grinding your own masa. (Maybe someday.) This site is one of many that walks you through the process. All you need is masa harina and water; you can also add a little cheese to the masa for absolutely delicious results.
  • Ripe plantains in a sweet cinnamon sauce: Alejandro Zúñiga mentioned this and I was instantly obsessed. I request that he provide more information ASAP.
  • Chilera: Putting some spicy pickled veggies on your Costa Rican classics or any savory breakfast dish will make your day better. Throwing together a chilera is also a go-to task for me when I want to feel like a domestic goddess without actually doing anything difficult. Here’s a piece I once edited with a detailed recipe, and a pic of my own chilera.
  • Favorite breakfast spots: Costa Rica Daily Boost readers shared their favorite Costa Rican breakfast spots including Soda Garabito in Jacó, El Fogón in Atenas, Casitas Tenorio B&B in Bijagua, Sibú Chocolate in San Isidro de Heredia, and Franco in Barrio Escalante. I can’t wait to get back to these spots in the future.
  • Hunger relief in Drake Bay: With tourism suspended in Costa Rica, a lot of families have seen their incomes drop to zero, and hunger is one of the biggest problems the country is facing. I shouted out two places where I, coincidentally, love to eat breakfast, and that are doing good things to help people have a meal. One is La Paloma Lodge in Drake Bay, on the Osa Peninsula, which is asking its former guests to contribute to the Drake Bay Emergency Fund. This fund has been set up by Ann Becker of Travel with Ann and Amigos of Costa Rica, working with AGUINADRA, the Drake Bay Guides’ Association. Donations to the fund will feed families that have spent decades building up sustainable tourism as their sole source of support. Learn more and contribute here.
  • Hunger relief for the homeless: FInally, I thanked De la Mano con la Calle and the Soda Tapia, a San José breakfast go-to that is working with De la Mano to provide hot meals to the homeless. You can also contribute to this effort through Amigos. Learn more here.

I am sending my best wishes for good meals and health, to you and yours.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookIf you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.

2 thoughts on “Breakfast in Costa Rica, part II: Links and recipes

  1. OK, weekend plans now out the window as I’m going to be busy making my own Salsa Lizano (am running low and hard to restock here . . .)


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