Costa Rican Vs. Mexican Food: Learn The Differences Between Mexican And Costa Rican Cuisine

Costa Rican is a small island country compared to Mexico.

The main difference in their geographic locations results in two different cuisines that we will delve into in this article.

If you are wondering how Costa Rican food differs from Mexican food, accompany us and read through this article, and you will find the answer.

What is special about Costa Rican food?

Costa Rican food is a mix of many cultures due to its geographical location and the history of trade.

Costa Rican dishes have been influenced by Spanish, African, Mexican, Chinese, and Caribbean cuisine.

This country’s climate allows for easy cultivation of fruits and vegetables which are incorporated in everyday recipes.

Various dishes such as rice with beans and plantains (moros y cristianos), tamales, patacones (fried green plantain chips), gallo pinto (rice & black beans), or casado (rice with meat or fish) are all common in Costa Rica because they can be easily made from locally grown produce that is available year-round.

They also utilize traditional recipes that have been passed down within families from generation to generation.

Costa Rica is home to many tropical fruits such as bananas, plantains, guanabana (soursop), lulo, mangoes, and pitahaya (dragon fruit).

These fruity ingredients can be used in both savory dishes or desserts, giving Costa Rica food a refreshing and tropical taste.

What is special about Mexican food?

Mexican food is more than just tacos and burritos.

It’s a culture that has been around for centuries, with dishes that are rich in flavor and history.

Mexican food is not only famous within this country but also a staple in many American households, being the number one most popular ethnic cuisine.

Corn is the main crop that can be found in any part of Mexico.

They turn this simple and inexpensive ingredient into many mouth-watering and beautiful dishes, either with or without meat.

Mexican food is also reputed for being relatively spicy because of its use of different chili varieties.

Mexican dishes are not only delicious but also versatile.

For example, there will be numerous recipes for the topping or filling of tacos or burritos.

What are the differences between Mexican food vs Costa Rican food?

Mexican food and Costa Rican food have many different things that make them unique in their own ways.

Here are some typical distinctions between these two American cuisines:

Beans in Mexico are used as a side dish while beans in Costa Rica are the main dish

The first difference between Mexican food and Costa Rican food is that beans are commonly served in different ways in these two countries.

For example, in Mexico, beans are usually served as a side dish, while Ricos enjoy beans as the main dish.

Rice is more common in Costa Rican cuisine

Although rice is a staple in both cuisines, Costa Rica witnesses a larger consumption of this grain.

They serve rice in every meal, with rice and beans is a national dish and can be eaten at any time of the day.

On the other hand, Mexican cuisine is more popular for its tacos or burritos, which mainly include tortillas or bread.

Mexican food tends to be spicier than Costa Rican food

Another difference between Costa Rican food and Mexican food is that Mexican food is usually spicier than Costa Rican food.

The reason is there are more than 100 chili varieties in this country and they use a lot of them in their recipes, making them much hotter than other cuisines’ dishes.

Corn can be found in any part of Mexico, while potatoes and plantains are more popular in Costa Rica

If corn is a staple in Mexico, plantains and potatoes are more common in Costa Rica cuisine.

Corn can be found in any region of Mexico, from the North to the South, West to East.

The whole corn, kernels, or corn flour can be used to create numerous dishes that are packed with a subtly sweet and buttery flavor.

On the other hand, potatoes and plantains are mainly stewed or mashed then fried in Costa Rican cooking.

Costa Rican food includes more seafood and Mexican cuisine heavily relies on meat

It is obvious that the majority of Costa Rican are surrounded by the ocean and sea, therefore, this country has an abundant source of seafood, especially fish.

Mexican cuisine also includes fish but with smaller quantities, they mainly eat beef or lamb, or even meat-free.

What are the similarities between Mexican food vs Costa Rican food?

Despite many differences between Mexican food and Costa Rican food, there are also numerous things in commonly found in both cuisines, here are some:

Their dishes use various fresh ingredients and have a vibrant presentation

Both cuisines rely on fresh ingredients that can be found in their homeland.

They almost never use canned food like in American cuisine.

Moreover, the combination of various ingredients with different colors makes their food look vibrant and very appealing.

Both cuisines use plenty of spices in their recipes

Another similarity between Mexican and Costa Rican food is their use of numerous spices.

The popular condiments are cumin, coriander, thyme, oregano, or nutmeg, which help enhance the flavor of Mexican and Costa Rican dishes.

Mexican food and Costa Rican food are nutritious and healthy

Although Mexican food and Costa Rican food differ in many ways, we have to admit that they are both nutritious and healthy.

The reason is they only use fresh and local ingredients and focus on lean meat and more vegetables.

A single dish consists of food from different groups, making it healthy and provides us with essential nutrients.

Which one is better?

In this article, we have explained how Costa Rican food differs from Mexican food and what characteristics these two cuisines share with each other.

We hope that you find our insights helpful! The differences in the two cuisines are what makes them great.

Which do you prefer? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Back to top button