Updated 05:38 PM EDT, Mon, Oct 19, 2020

5 Traditional Costa Rican Dishes Worth Checking Out

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Costa Rica has been known the world over for its happy people. The Happy Planet Index has ranked the Central American country as #1 on its list.

Costa Ricans are happy people mostly because they enjoy the essential things in life: choosing not to hold grudges. The Central American country also has no army, and instead of using the money on national defense, the Costa Rican government chooses to spend it on health care and education for all. Another reason why Costa Ricans are so happy is because they have adapted a healthy and fiber-rich diet, says Organic Authority.

Many of the traditional dishes in Costa Rica consist mainly of rice and beans mixed with other ingredients, like chicken or fish and different sorts of vegetables. Costa Ricans also love to eat fresh fruit, and maintain a diet rich in fiber and antioxidants. All of these traditional Costa Rican dishes are worth a try.

1. Arroz con Leche

This is a traditional Costa Rican dessert that is basically rice with milk. The simple dish can be considered rice pudding seasoned with sugar, cinnamon and lemon peel. She Wears Many Hats says that this may be a very simple dish, but those who have tasted it find it to be so satisfying.

2. Gallo Pinto

This is a Costa Rican breakfast dish composed of rice with black beans, served with a side of "natilla" or sour cream, scrambled eggs and a fried plantain. This is usually eaten with a cup of hot coffee or fruit juice.

3. Casado

This traditional Costa Rican dish is composed of beans, rice mixed with chopped red bell peppers and onions, plantains, and chicken. Alternatively, it can be eaten with fish, pork or steak, with grilled onions.

4. Olla de Carne

This flavorful stew is a popular Costa Rican dish because of its many ingredients, consisting of beef, potatoes, carrots, chayotes, plantains, yuccas, sweet potatoes, and camotes.

5. Tamales

This very popular corn-based snack is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. These mouthwatering morsels consist of boiled banana leaves stuffed with corn meal, rice, pork, beans and vegetables.

Food is just one of the many reasons why Costa Ricans are among the happiest in the world. They also try to make the best of everything, wanting little to do with conflict. But, with these tasty dishes on hand, it is no wonder Costa Ricans are among the happiest people on earth.

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