Ceviche (also spelled as cebiche or seviche) is a citrus-marinated seafood, its birthplace is disputed between Peru and Ecuador. Although it is a typical dish of both countries, many other countries in Latin America have adopted it, with variations. Both fish and shellfish can be used in the preparation of ceviche.
Costa Rican cuisine is known for being tasty, yet fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. The main staple, known as gallo pinto, consists of rice and beans. Gallo pinto is also known in some southern areas of Costa Rica as burra; though still recognized the name is rarely used. Also, Costa Rican gallo pinto is made with black beans, while Nicaraguans use red beans traditionally. Candy is an important dessert, which is served after every meal.
An empanada is a Spanish and Portuguese stuffed bread or pastry, also known as "impanada" in Italy. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing.
A Tres leches cake, or Pastel Tres leches (Spanish, "Three milk cake"), or Pan Tres Leches (Spanish, "Three milk bread"), is a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.
Gallo pinto (or gallopinto) is the prototypical traditional dish of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan cuisine. It is considered the national dish in both countries, and is eaten as a part of any meal. Though many variations exist, the dish at its most basic is composed of pre-cooked rice and beans fried together with spices such as cilantro, onion and peppers.
Salsa Lizano, known in English as "Lizano Sauce" (Salsa means "sauce" in Spanish), is a Costa Rican condiment developed in 1920 by the Lizano Company. It is now a product of Knorr. It is a thin, smooth, light brown sauce (akin to such condiments as HP Sauce). It is meant to be used while cooking or — popularly — at tableside to flavor one's food when serving. It is slightly sweet with a hint of spiciness lent by black pepper and cumin.
A Casado is a typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, beans, fried plantains, salad, a tortilla, and an entree of choice that may include chicken, beef, pork, and others. The origin of the term is related to an expression said by the clients, in which they claimed they wanted to be treated as a casado (married-one), claiming that married men ate meals in that fashion, which is true since Costa Ricans typically eat a meal like that at their homes for lunch and/or dinner.
Arroz con Pollo ("rice with chicken" in Spanish) is a traditional dish that is common throughout Latin America and The Caribbean, especially in Cuba, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Common ingredients include rice, beer, stock, sofrito, chicken, and saffron or more authentic and commonly annatto.
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and the Philippines (where it is known as Giniling). It is made with ground meat (usually beef), tomatoes (tomato sauce may be used as a substitute), and other ingredients that vary by region. It is often served with rice or used as a filling in dishes such as tacos, savoury pastries or croquettes. The name comes from the Spanish word "picar," which means "to mince" or "to chop".