Taste of the Tropics

-Linda

It’s funny that even my closest friends and family may not know this, but I think my favorite fruit in the world is maracuya — otherwise known as passion fruit. I had marcuya for the first time in my life when I lived in Ecuador back in 1998. I guess now you can probably buy it at some specialty stores in the U.S., but back then I had never encountered it, so it seemed extremely exotic. To be honest, the first time I was offered it I had to force myself to try it, because it looks a bit like puke…or pumpkin guts, you get the picture. The pulp of the fruit is orange liquid with large black seeds that you swallow whole. It can be very tart, but it is SO good in juices — feels like drinking sunshine!

So I was pleased that both girls immediately tried and liked the maracuyas I bought. Yesterday morning I made the best batido (smoothie) EVER by mixing maracuya, pina, and an orange — along with some ice. Heaven. I could subsist on that stuff for a very long time.

Study in Maracuya

I also decided yesterday to try making the local staple dish, which is called gallo pinto — essentially the Costa Rican version of rice and beans. I added shrimp on top, and it really was quite tasty. Apparently the secret ingredient is Salsa Lizano, which is well-stocked at the local super (grocery store).

Gallo Pinto before adding the rice

That said, I bet the ‘soda’ (cafe serving local food) next door makes it even better, and boy would that be easier. Cooking in our tiny kitchen is a bit challenging, and I am definitely missing the dishwasher. Alas.

We have not been eating out much, but my favorite morning stop is El Patio for my latte and a smoothie.

They also have yummy breakfast food, though we generally make breakfast at home. The most popular brunch item here locally (probably more Santa Teresa-specific vs. Costa Rican) is the ‘smoothie bowl’, which has really intrigued Cassidy. Maybe that will be our Christmas breakfast treat, we’ll see šŸ™‚

As with all blogs so far, I will close with some sunset photos. There are so many good ones that I’ll try another collage! None of these photos show us playing in the water, but we do a lot of that right at sunset, when the water is almost exactly the same temperature as the air. Now THAT is pura vida.

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