Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tico food: Tamales

Here is the food that the village lady offered me. I think it is a tamale, which is usually made from corn meal stuffed with chicken or pork and boiled in banana or plantain leaves.

I have two confessions that will rightfully disappoint you, especially some of my readers who left comments saying that they looked forward to the post of the local food in anticipation that it would be delicious.

I declined her offer of the food. (She did not make the food for me, as she was making it before we even arrived.)

My confessions are that I am not very adventuresome when it comes to food and I have a very limited vocabulary of Spanish, so I did not know exactly what was in this dish and I do not experiment with food unless my wife, Julie, is with me and she can tell me if I will like something or not. Julie was not with me on this trip.

My excuse for the limited range of my palate is that my late parents prepared me for the world in many ways, but not food. We never had Mexican food, or even pizza, and I did not realize until I went to college that spaghetti came in anything other than a can.

I never took Spanish in school. I took Russian. I go down to our condos in Costa Rica as often as I can, but I still work full time in Arizona so I stay in Costa Rica in short intervals, not enough time to learn Spanish. And in Tamarindo I do not need to know Spanish because everybody speaks English, as it is a tourist town full of foreigners. I am determined to learn Spanish in the near future.

We are showing photos of the village of Cernobbi on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, this week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

12 comments:

Kate said...

Oh, David, you are much too hard on yourself! Not all of us are thrilled with food with which we are not familiar. I know that you would be a gentleman at all times; the woman was probably happy to get your attention and was thrilled to have her photo taken. As far as Spanish is concerned, if you don't use it...you lose it. Despite going to Mexico often, I'm still a novice learner. Keep on trying and the vocabulary will rise to the surface when you need it. Good luck as you use it!

brattcat said...

And when you do learn Spanish, perhaps you will return to this beautiful woman and her beautiful food and have a new experience.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Well Dave guess what!! I'm not shocked!! I can't be because I'm just as bad, the tamale looked good, IF it was chicken, because I don't eat port or lamb or seafood (apart from white fish}I'm pathetic when it comes to food but I don't care..I like what I like!
btw I usually use a Pentax K10 but lately I've been carrying around (it's so light) a Panasonic Lumix FZ100, if you Google it you'll see that it has so many great features on of which is a spot focus, I really like it for days when carrying the heavier Pentax and many lenses is not an option.

Lois said...

I'm quite sure I would have turned it down too. I had a bad case of food poisoning once and I am very careful about what I eat!

Sharon said...

LOL...I think I would have tried the tamale and passed on the drink you showed us yesterday. But, I do have to admit, I would have tried to determine what was in the tamale first. I recognize pollo and carnitas so if I heard those words I might tried it. Now, the drink on the other hand I would have said thanks but, no thanks. I'm very picky when it comes to drinks.

Lowell A. Anderson said...

I don't blame your reticence! I wouldn't have eaten it either...although I do like tamales.

I would have said, "Hasta la vista, senora!" :-)

You are so funny: ants in Florida? This is paradise, mi amigo!

Jarart said...

You must be a little bit adventurous because you dine at Sharon's house from time to time. (Don't tell her I said that. I know she is a great cook.) Having been a vegetarian for many years and only recently adding some fish and fowl to my diet, I wouldn't have tried that tamale either. But it was nice of her to offer.

glenda said...

Well I was focused on the neat little bundle the tamale was wrapped in. I must admit I would have passed on the food.

ρομπερτ said...

A challenge indeed. Admit, that I would have said no as well. Please have you all a good Thursday.

nathalie, Avignon said...

What a pity you didn't try the tamale. Even though you'd never had it before, the contents are kind enough to any Western palate - it's not like it were stuffed with insects or rat or snake :-)))

Anyway, I hope you get to be more open to local experiences when you learn some Spanish. Now that you know that spaghetti are actually much tastier when they don't come in a can, everything's possible !
:-)))

Nathalie said...

.... but I should really have congratulated you for trying the chicha. Good start !

Irina said...

Great shot. Looks like the lady already knows about your doubts)).

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