Costa Rica is incredibly biodiverse and is also the home to many different microclimates. These microclimates are home to an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and livestock that supply the Costa Rican population throughout the year. During my time here, I have tried many different foods, including some fruits that I personally had never had before. Here are 5 of my favorites!
Pitanga (Suriname cherry) – This fruit is a combination of sweet flavors and subtle acidity. Especially in the heat of the day, it is such a refreshing treat! The texture is incredibly juicy, and I ate a couple fresh off a tree nearby. The only thing to watch out for was the seed on the inside, which was quite similar in size to a cherry. I wish these were more common back at home, as I really loved the unique flavor and taste!
Uchuva (golden berry) – These sour berries were one of the first new fruits I tried in Costa Rica! They are incredibly tart, and the general consensus was that they were either incredibly loved or not preferred at all. I personally liked the tartness, especially because they have a slightly sweet aftertaste. My host family also informed me that these berries are commonly used in jams and other spreads and taste excellent with something else to accompany them!
Dedo de lima (finger lime) – These delicious lime variants were so refreshing. The color was so interesting, and the texture of the small bubbles of lime made it very fun to eat. They tasted identical to what a lime would taste like, just in small pockets and bursts of flavor. I believe that the texture was definitely what made this fruit very fun to eat!
Zapote (Sapota) – This was definitely my favorite new fruit that I have had here. The texture is somewhat fibery and the taste is incredibly sweet. The fruit also tastes very distinctly tropical and it is easy to go for bite after bite. It is difficult to describe the exact flavor, as it was unlike anything that I had tried before. I have heard that this fruit is incredibly common to use in milkshakes as well because of its sweetness.
Jorco (lemon drop mangosteen) – This fruit was very fun to peel and had an interesting sweet and tart flavor profile. I liked the texture, as it was very pulpy. The sweet flavor was well-balanced by the tartness and I could not help but have some more after picking my first fruit!
(Image credit from sowexotic.com since my picture was blurry!)
Trying new fruits has been such a fun and educational experience! I have loved tasting new flavors that I have never tried before. Eating meals and trying new foods that my host family offers has been a great way for us to bond, and I appreciate all of their help in immersing me into the culture!