Taste of Belize: Costa Rica’s Neighbor Cooks It Up

A Taste of Belize is our Central American neighbor’s main culinary competition and industry trade event. It features the best this small Caribbean coastal country has to offer.

I’ve been traveling to Belize for over 30 years. I’ve written Frommer’s Belize for the past 15 years. I know and have eaten the cooking of all the chef’s featured in the video below. And, there’s always some Marie Sharp’s in my pantry.

Chef Rob served a homemade papaya ketchup alongside some fresh snapper that lives on in my memory forever. Chef Sean wowed me with his fusion recreations of Belizean classics when he opened the kitchen at Ka’ana Resort.

And well, you haven’t had gibnut  (agouti paca) till you’ve tried Chef Calbert’s gibnut.


More Thanksgiving In Costa Rica

I posted below about a Thanksgiving meal at El Tigre Vestido, but thanks to the Tico Times, here’s a list of a few more places for you to indulge in turkey, stuffing and all the fixins today.

Me, I’ve got a 9-kilo bird defrosting in the fridge and a bunch of friends coming over on Sunday… Yup, everyone’s working hard today and saving it up for Sunday.

And yes, we’ve found fresh cranberries again this year. Thanks Automercado!

In the meantime, the following is my favorite cooking tip video for Thanksgiving

Just put the f*ckin turkey in the oven…

Second Starbucks Opens In Costa Rica

Costa Rican Coffee BeansWhile I don’t think Starbucks is inherently evil, there’s something just not right about the Seattle-based chain spreading and gaining popularity in Costa Rica.

Neither my wallet nor my waistline have much use for Starbucks. And I brew a pretty decent cup of organic, fair-trade Costa Rican grown dark roast at home.

The new store opened in the new Lincoln Plaza Mall in Moravia. It will face competition from several other coffee shops and similarly themed restaurants in the same mall, including Ily Gourmet, Kafe Haus, and Spoon.

Costa Rican Coffee PlantThe first Starbucks in Costa Rica opened in June 2012 in Avenida Escazu. It’s not clear how many more storefronts the chain plans to open here. This is the 565th store the chain operates in Latin America. Although, that’s not such an impressive number, considering they operate nearly 20,000 storefronts worldwide.

On the upside, Starbucks has traditionally and historically been a large buyer of Costa Rican coffee, and some of their offerings are distinctly local.

For fans of Starbucks in Costa Rica, you can connect to their Facebook page here.


Costa Rica Officials Ban Shellfish Consumption Due To Red Tide

Bad news for lobster lovers, the Costa Rican government has placed a ban and warned against eating shell fish and mollusks, due to red tide phenomenon.

The article in The Tico Times doesn’t specificy locations, but I’m assuming that this refers primarily to shellfish and mollusks harvested on the Pacific coasts, primarily around Nicoya and Guanacaste.

I’m assuming those coming from the Caribbean sea are still safe to eat.

Costa Rican Crab