Eating & Drinking our way around the World (Cup) – Part 5

As promised… a guest post by the Dutchie. 🙂 Bitterballen Bruid was drinking cocktails in England this weekend (on her hen do) so I had the weight of a nation on my shoulders creating a Costa Rican meal for the match. And making sure we progress in the World Cup…

Not easy.

The first thing I saw when looking at traditional Costa Rican food is that almost every dish is rice and beans. Apparently there’s a bit of variation between the recipes but it’s all rice and beans… and I’m not a big fan of the combination. Luckily, there was one other thing I found which caught my eye: Olla di Carne, a beef soup/stew with a lot of vegetables, some I’ve never heard of, so that’s always nice to try some new ingredients.

Olla de Carne in the making...

Olla de Carne in the making…

Unluckily for me, I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of taro root. The local Greengrocer and two supermarkets (of which one has won a prize for their fruit and veg) had no idea what I was talking about. So not only could I not get them, neither could anyone tell me an alternative.

Once I got home, I found out that the things I did buy – parsnip & sweet potato – are good alternatives. (BBruid: score!!) So no real problem, I just didn’t get the joy of some new ingredients. I had less success on the plantains though, no one had any. 😦

The base of the stew is beef stock so I bought some bone marrow and other stuff to make my own stock. I only made it on the day itself so it did have some taste in it, but wasn’t very strong. So, when I put the beef in, I decided to leave the fat on to give some extra oomph… and was planning on removing it when I served it. (BBruid: what a dingbat! ;-))

But I didn’t remove the fat afterwards as there wasn’t any left to remove… My first spoon tasted like taking a sip from a deep-fryer. So apparently all the fat had dissolved and made my soup inedible.

Yuk!! Guess I'll have a beer then...

Yuk!! Guess I’ll have a beer then…

Enough about food. They have some nice drinks there. Not wine though. Quoting a website about Costa Rica: “there is one farmer in Costa Rica who makes wine, but that’s more physics than actually being a farmer” 🙂

They do make a type of rum and I found some beer brands… but of course, I couldn’t buy either in Holland. (Well, the 3 places I tried anyway.) Luckily I saw they just like beer in general, so I joined in with that tradition!

Fail is a strong word (BBruid: I’d say that was exactly the right word ;-)) but I can’t say I managed to cook a decent Costa Rican meal. Not a good omen for the match… And Holland struggled. Only in the penalties after extra time came the difference and Holland only just won. So on Wednesday I get the chance to redeem myself with some nice Argentinian food and wine… Luckily I will have Bitterballen Bruid with me, so it should go a lot smoother!

The Dutchie

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