Cooking is like being in a relationship: select some ingredients and combine them well in order to create a pleasant taste. Stir carefully and cook al dente. And never forget to spice up things every now and then, to keep it all interesting!
In Costa Rica, the typical set dish is called “Casado” literally translating into “married”. This down-to-earth combination not only is very complete and nutritious, but also brings together in one plate a great variety of flavors.
A typical casado would include: a choice of beef/chicken/fish and, sometimes (particularly in touristic areas) a vegetarian combination. The sides could actually constitute a dish on their own, including steamed white rice, juicy black beans, garden salad, fried plantain and, a bit less usually, a fried egg.
What’s there not to love in this dish?
It has grilled flavors, the freshness of the salad, the rice & beans induced satisfaction and the caramelized texture of the fried plantain that I tend to leave for my last bite, for a sweet ending.
During our 2 week stay in Costa Rica I must have had at least 10 casados (between USD5 and USD8), in all their meaty, fishy and veggie shapes, at different restaurants and cities. And it is amazing that ALL of them tasted great. Ingredients in Costa Rica tend to be very fresh, with intense flavors (even with little seasoning – like experienced with salads) and that makes for great meals served in generous portions.
The food elements on a casado are super simple and anyone can cook them. But together, casado is one of the most satisfactory food combinations a traveler on the move could wish for!