Costa Rica has an incredible selection of fresh and exotic vegetables and fruit to choose from. It is one of the many reasons I love living in this beautiful country. There is such a variety every time and the produce is always so enticing.
You will be pleased to find many familiar veggies when shopping for produce. Broccoli, kale, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, beets, green beans, potatoes, and more! But there are also plenty of uncommon vegetables that you usually do not see sold in the US or Canada.
Some of these unusual veggies include chayote, taro, ayote sazon, yuca or plantains! Yuca is a great replacement for potatoes. Chayotes are so versatile that you can use them in apple pie because they take the flavor of whatever you cook with.
The moment you taste a pineapple in Costa Rica, you will be shocked. Fruits are much sweeter here and far more flavorful! Mangos, bananas, papayas, and pineapples are all grown in Costa Rica. Many of these fruits are even important exports (check out my blog about exports https://blog.costarican-american-connection.com/exports-of-costa-rica/).
The more exotic fruits include rambutans, star fruits, mangosteens, passion fruits, soursops, guavas, star apples and so much more! Only in Costa Rica will you be able to try many of these fruits. The majority cannot be exported since they are delicate or not great for transport.
Fruit and vegetable shopping in Costa Rica is exciting because the selection is always changing depending on what’s in season. Throughout the year, there are produce stands next to the road selling whatever has recently been locally harvested. The best part is, you are buying directly from local farmers!
From March – June you will see an abundance of mangos! From July – August the delicious carambola, known as star fruit, is available. July – October you will see mountains of spikey looking little red fruits called mamon chinos. Other fruits are available year round such as oranges, soursops, and passion fruits.
Many non-native fruits are becoming more attainable along with having more reasonable prices. Strawberries and blueberries are now being grown in the country. Costa Rica uses hydroponics to grow a lot of vegetable produce that normally wouldn’t be grown outdoors such as kale or lettuce.
If you are looking for places to buy great produce, you are in luck! Playa del Coco has a bunch of great shopping options. Los Cartagos has an incredible selection. It is a very well organized and clean indoor fruit/veggie market. Feria del Agricultor El Coco is an outdoor market with a more rustic feel and plenty of great produce options. If you are looking for a specific fruit or vegetable such as cherries or romanesco broccoli, Automercado is the one for you!
Living in Costa Rica gives you great access to beautifully fresh produce. You are able to experience so many different flavors. The amazing vegetable and fruit produce available here is definitely one of the reasons I love living in Costa Rica!
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