Thankful to be Vacationing in Costa Rica
The week of Thanksgiving, “acción de gracias” in Spanish, is a fantastic time to visit the southern zone of Costa Rica. Many visitors want to escape the autumn chill in their hometowns, and Costa Rica is the perfect place to spend quality time together with loved ones.
Exciting activities are taking place throughout the region. Canopy zip lining, private surfing lessons and kayaking expeditions are top picks. If you want to explore incredible Cano Island or Corcovado National Park, inquire soon because those tours often sell out of park passes.
Other family-favorite activities include engaging in a friendly parents vs. kids competition at Osa Mini Golf. Or get up close and personal with cold-blooded creatures you aren’t related to at Reptilandia. When you’re done shooting golf or shooting photos, take the kids for a tasty treat in Dominical.
Groceries for a Thanksgiving Feast
You know the saying, “When in Rome….”, and this Thanksgiving you’ll be in the tropical rainforest! While we’ve seen frozen turkeys, stove-top stuffing, canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce stocked in some supermarkets, you can’t bet on traditional items being available. If you’re willing to throw old recipes into the ocean breeze and embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle, we suggest bringing these local options back to your vacation villa and incorporating them into your feast:
The camote is a tropical sweet potato native to Costa Rica and considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables in existence. Here in Costa Rica, the camotes are bright pink or purple on the outside and bright yellow inside, so they’ll really color up your cornucopia. You can use camotes in lieu of sweet potatoes in any of your favorite recipes.
Platanos are known as “plantains” in English. They are not the same as bananas. In Costa Rica they have recipes for green and ripened plantains, and both are available in local markets. For your Thanksgiving dinner we suggest going with the ripened version or “platano maduro,” as it makes the perfect sweet side dish.
A popular dish in Costa Rica is “la sopa de ayote tierno” or squash soup. You may find it a bit warm in the tropics for soup, but squash, or ayote, is a versatile ingredient you can use in lots of recipes. You can also find butternut squash and occasionally a “real” pumpkin at the markets in our area. Sometimes when you ask for a “calabaza,” in Costa Rica, which technically translates to pumpkin, you are led to a squash as chefs sometimes use ayote and calabaza interchangeably.
Yucca, also known as tapioca and cassava, tastes similar to a traditional potato. When preparing your usual mashed potato dish, swap in this root veggie for an eclectic change. After you boil, mash and slather it with herbs and butter, you can hardly tell the difference. That being said, yucca is considered the healthier of the two options. Here’s a great Yuca Mash recipe to test out.
Chayote belongs to the gourd family and happens to be a highly nutritious addition to your dinner table. It’s high in both fiber and folate, and possesses a long list of health benefits. A very common dish in Costa Rica that’s made of chayote is called “picadillo.” It’s typically a vegetarian dish, but occasionally you’ll find variations. Here is an easy picadillo recipe to try.
Why not try something new this Thanksgiving? Trust us, you’ll be grateful you did!