The Gallo Pinto Festival Returns to San José

Gallo pinto is perhaps Costa Rica’s most famous food. It is a delicious blend of rice, beans, cilantro, bell pepper, onion and different spices. A breakfast in Costa Rica would not be complete without it. Most expat retirees who savor “un buen plato de pinto” (plate full of Gallo Pinto) fall in love with it “at first bite”.

On March 17 the annual Gallo Pinto Festival (Fiesta Nacional del Gallo Pinto) will take place in San José’s Central Park. The city’s municipality, the Teja newspaper and radio station 90.7 FM will sponsor this event along with the companies 1820 coffee, Tortillas El Fogón and Lizano Sauce (one of the main ingredients of gallo pinto). Twenty-five thousand plates of gallo pinto will be served along with fifteen-thousand tamales, pejibayes (a type of palm fruit often eaten with mayonnaise) and rice pudding for dessert.

A party would not be complete in Costa Rica without live music which will be provided by two local groups, Son Mayor and Son de Tiquicia. The master of ceremonies will be local TV personality Victor Carvajal. The festivities are free and will begin at 8 am with everyone being welcome.

In addition to the event above, a Paella (traditional Spanish dish) festival was held a week ago at a park on the outskirts of the city of Alajuela. Around 1000 people had a chance to try this traditional Spanish dish. The president of Costa Rica event showed up to take part in the festivities.

The above are just a couple of the many “free” cultural activities which expat retirees can attend while living in Costa Rica. So what are you waiting for? Come join the party!

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