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Tropicalsenior

Hello from Costa Rica

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I live in Costa Rica so I am unable to find a lot of the spices and herbs and Specialty Foods but can make a special dish really special. I would be interested to know the substitutions and homemade condiments that others have used in my situation. I like to cook good food and I believe that this forum is going to help me a lot.

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Welcome to eGullet, @Tropicalsenior!

There's a lot of information on making condiments here on eGullet and a lot of eG members make their own.  Are there particular condiments that you want to make or ingredients you need to find good substitutes for?  

 

Here are a few previous discussions you may want to check out:

Making Your Own Condiments: Mustard & Others

What condiments do you make?

Basic Condiments (Mayo, catsup & mustard) and Basic Condiments Q&A

 

The search function may help you find past discussions on various individual condiments, herbs and spices.  If you can't find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to ask.  There are a LOT of very knowledgable and helpful people here!

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1 minute ago, blue_dolphin said:

Welcome to eGullet, @Tropicalsenior!

There's a lot of information on making condiments here on eGullet and a lot of eG members make their own.  Are there particular condiments that you want to make or ingredients you need to find good substitutes for?  

 

Here are a few previous discussions you may want to check out:

Making Your Own Condiments: Mustard & Others

What condiments do you make?

Basic Condiments (Mayo, catsup & mustard) and Basic Condiments Q&A

 

The search function may help you find past discussions on various individual condiments, herbs and spices.  If you can't find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to ask.  There are a LOT of very knowledgable and helpful people here!

Thank you so much for all the information. I am interested in everything and I will check all of these out. And I am finding out about all these great people.

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Hi, Tropical Senior! You might look in to ordering spices from Penzey's or Spice House. 

 

Of course, if I had to choose between an array of spices and the beach...

 

 

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11 hours ago, kayb said:

Hi, Tropical Senior! You might look in to ordering spices from Penzey's or Spice House. 

 

Of course, if I had to choose between an array of spices and the beach...

 

 

I would love to be able order spices and other things but unfortunately Costa Rica has a terrible customs system. First, if it's green leaf something or a seed, they want to send it for analysis that you pay for. Second, their tax system is such that you pay almost as much in taxes as the product cost. Third, things get lost all the time, in other words, if it's something they want they just take it. It's almost impossible for an ordinary citizen to go to customs to pick something up so you have to deal with a Courier agency that further adds to the cost. If you want something from the states, you just about have to have a friend bring it in. For example, I wear a 38D brassiere and I have a friend from Argentina that brings a specific brand in for me from Buenos Aires. Thank you for the suggestion and believe me, if it were feasible I would certainly take it.

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15 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I would love to be able order spices and other things but unfortunately Costa Rica has a terrible customs system. First, if it's green leaf something or a seed, they want to send it for analysis that you pay for. Second, their tax system is such that you pay almost as much in taxes as the product cost. Third, things get lost all the time, in other words, if it's something they want they just take it. It's almost impossible for an ordinary citizen to go to customs to pick something up so you have to deal with a Courier agency that further adds to the cost. If you want something from the states, you just about have to have a friend bring it in. For example, I wear a 38D brassiere and I have a friend from Argentina that brings a specific brand in for me from Buenos Aires. Thank you for the suggestion and believe me, if it were feasible I would certainly take it.

Makes sense. Oh, well; I guess you learn to use the local stuff! I misread your initial info; thought it said Puerto Rico. 

 

Still Costa Rica has to be a nicer place to be than the states in February...

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I would love to hear more about what you DO have to work with.

There are so many herbs, seeds, oils, etc that you may have access to that we in the states don't ..... rather than making a workaround there may be so many things that you can teach us....

 

My husband wants so badly to come there to bird.....

 

welcome

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6 hours ago, suzilightning said:

I would love to hear more about what you DO have to work with.

There are so many herbs, seeds, oils, etc that you may have access to that we in the states don't ..... rather than making a workaround there may be so many things that you can teach us....

 Believe it or not, Costa Rica has some of the most bland, unimaginative food in all of Latin America. If I was left to copying their style of food, I would be cooking beans and rice and arroz con pollo. The people are great, the food isn't. However, bird-watching is great. My grandson used to work for a hotel that specialized in bird watching tours. If you come down to do that, you do specifically have to look for places like that because it's awfully hard to find them on your own. Costa Rica does have a bird watching club so if you plan to come down I could put you in touch with them

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

Welcome to EG!!

Thank you so much. I've been here two whole days and I love it.

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42 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

 Believe it or not, Costa Rica has some of the most bland, unimaginative food in all of Latin America. If I was left to copying their style of food, I would be cooking beans and rice and arroz con pollo. The people are great, the food isn't. However, bird-watching is great. My grandson used to work for a hotel that specialized in bird watching tours. If you come down to do that, you do specifically have to look for places like that because it's awfully hard to find them on your own. Costa Rica does have a bird watching club so if you plan to come down I could put you in touch with them

Thanks much... we also have friends up here in NJ who run tours and work with local folks where ever they go........

hey... wish I could get Johnnybird to eat beans with rice( it will give me gas) or arroz con pollo (it's too spicy) .  Is there NOTHING else to local cusine?

 

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52 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

hey... wish I could get Johnnybird to eat beans with rice( it will give me gas) or arroz con pollo (it's too spicy) .  Is there NOTHING else to local cusine?

 

Not much. But you wouldn't have to worry about the arroz con pollo. Here it is not spicy, nothing is. For centuries, the country has had a very poor local population and for some reason, they never did develop a good, rich cuisine. Although there are now more spices that you can buy, everyone seems to prefer something that they call sazon completo (complete seasoning) and they

use it on everything. I have never bothered to find out what is in it, I just know that I taste it in everything they make and I don't like it. For extra flavor, they douse everything in a sauce called Lizano that has a sharp pungent flavor. If I couldn't cook for myself, I would probably starve to death.

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