Friday, June 5, 2015

Have you had your "casado" today?

Living in a Latin American country certainly has its benefits. You can find a variety of budget friendly delicious freshly made foods. Take for instance Mexico, when lunch comes around you have many options of where to dine. You could visit any of the usual fast food chains that have expanded from the U.S. or you could just go into a taco shop and order some delicious steak tacos with handmade tortillas. Not in the mood for beef? then you can go to seafood stands in which you will be able to chose from fish ceviche tostadas, shrimp cocktail or a mix of seafood cocktails. 

In Costa Rica it is common for locals to dine at a "soda", now in most of the Spanish speaking countries a "soda" is a carbonated drink but in Costa Rica a "soda" is in fact a local cafe style restaurant, which is usually family owned and operated. It will have a dining area set up with tables and chairs and tablecloths, silverware. You have a server taking and bringing your order and the owner is usually at the register. 

In Costa Rica breakfast is typically from 6:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  in Spanish it is called "desayuno" and 12:00 for lunchtime in Costa Rica it is called "hora de almuerzo" it is common to visit a "soda" and order a "casado" now if you were to translate the word "casado" from Spanish to English it means "married", but in Costa Rica it also means a complete meal. A "casado" can cost anywhere from ¢1,500 - ¢4,000 Costa Rican Colones which is roughly between $3.00 - $8.00 U.S. Dollars, pricing will depend on location and if you're purchasing it from a "soda" or a larger restaurant. 

Here is your typical breakfast "casado":

The lunch version of the "casado" consists of steamed white rice, black beans, vegetables, meat (fish, chicken, beef or pork) and plantains. As you can see it is a complete meal that will more than hold you over until coffee time {typically between 3 - 4:30 p.m.}. 

If you're visiting Costa Rica soon, I highly recommend enjoying a delicious casado at a soda. It will give you a cultural experience and you will support the local economy! Oh and a casado also includes a fruit and water based drink {aka fresco or natural} that is freshly made daily.

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