It’s official! This June, I will take my first trip with a handful of friends to the paradise known as Costa Rica. On the menu: rainforests, surfing, potentially camping in an RV, dancing on the beach, and, of course, sampling a lot of the local flavor.
As soon as the trip was booked– and I mean, literally within 16 minutes of confirming my flight– I started looking up articles on Costa Rican cuisine. It’s basically what one would “typically” expect from the region: a lot of rice, beans, beef, and yucca. Pretty standard fare, and the dishes are generally kept simple, with little spice-enhancement. Arroz con Pollo and Papas con Chorizo (potatoes and pork sausage) are perhaps the most common/familiar dishes, but there are also neat little oddities like refrescos which are energizing fruit drinks sometimes made with pinolillo (roasted corn flour).
I am so excited for my trip, it’s ridiculous! I’ve never been to Central/South America, and my only stints outside of the US have involved Canada and Europe. This was just one adventure I couldn’t pass up! Seven days of being out in nature and away from the pollution of the city is going to be incredible. Am I nervous? Not really. I mean, I’m trying to crunch in a few Spanish lessons so I’m not a complete mute while I’m there. I’m not really worried about what to do once we get there, I’ve done the whole backpacking thing before. I’ve started a physical training program that will hopefully get me in shape for surfing. Also, I’ve started a different sort of physical training the past few weeks: I’m re-teaching my body to process red meat and pork. It’s something I’ve talked about doing for a while, and I’m finally committing to it. So far, so good, with a little bite of hamburger here, some bacon/chorizo there. It’s a slow process and I probably won’t be able to down a vat of pork stew in Costa, but it’s a start. I am just anticipating a wonderful experience.