22 August 2010

weekend recap and giveaway announcement!

After exploring the San Jose area over the past few weeks, some friends and I decided to to get out of the city for a change and visit nearby Volcan Irazu.

Waiting at the bus stop
It took us a while to find the stop. We totally made a special effort to arrive early to where we thought the stop was, stood there for 30 minutes, and then realized we were in the wrong place when streams of people started walking past us to the correct location. Oh, well. At least we made it there eventually!

Just a two-hour bus ride later, we were there

Looking down into the main crater
Word on the geologic street is that this volcano erupts every 15 years or so. It last erupted in 1994, so I guess it's any day now. Yikes!

We got to see some interesting wildlife...

...rare plants that grow only in volcanic ash...

...and the rainbow towns near the volcano.
(Thanks to my lovely lady EG for letting me steal these last three photos!)

Between the fun getaway and a shout-out from Marisa on one my favorite blogs ever, I wasn't sure the weekend could get any better...


When the bus made a pit stop at a pulperia (little grocery/general store-type deal) about an hour outside of San Jose, I saw these near the checkout area:

I had heard a lot about these candies from my friend A, who loves them so much he wants to start importing them to the US. I wasn't totally convinced of their deliciousness, as I don't really like either guava or chocolate (I know, I should probably get that checked out), but I thought I'd give them a shot. And let me tell you, these puppies are the a.maz.ing.ness.

I have decided that this discovery is too great to keep secret. So, in honor of this confectionery delight, and in celebration of the fact that I have finally figured out how to mail things to people, we have arrived at...

Giveaway Announcement Time!

Giving: A bag of Cafe Britt candies, your choice of flavor here (just in case guava isn't your thing)

Please comment on this post to enter to win. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Tell me your favorite food discovery made in another country OR your favorite food from another culture.

You have until 11:59 p.m., MDT, on Wednesday, August 25th to enter.

Good luck!

Cafe Britt image via.


  1. Favorite food discovery made in another country: Incredibly delicious graham-cracker chocolate cookies called "Hit" at cheap gas stations across Germany and Poland. So good! Just don't look at the nutritional information...

  2. Oooh I can't resist a good giveaway. Plus, my fave foreign food is Dan Bing - a breakfast concoction from Taiwan that I LOVED when I lived there. It is a thin doughy pancaky crepe type thing, layered with egg, cheese and your choice of meat, rolled up and sliced and served with hot sauce. Im describing it horribly but I loved it!
    We miss you, Ms. L!!

  3. Whoa! Someone has combined Guava and Chocolate! YUM!

    My favorite food was .. only sort of a food. I grew up in the USA drinking orange juice. Loved the stuff. Couldn't get enough. Then, I went to Indonesia. My first orange juice in Indonesia was like a spiritual vision manifest in real life! So sweet, so fresh, so ..perfect! It was ecstasy. My mouth is watering. I would do almost anything for some fresh tropical fruit right now! Problem is, I'm in Korea. Although Korea has some *fantastic* foods to offer, it suffers from the same bland juice selection as most of the States do. So.. I bide my time with authentic kimchi.
    -Evan // EvanAndRachel.com

  4. I would have to say my pick would be mamoncillo. A yummy, slippery, tart but sweet fruit!I have cravings for them all the time,i discovered them in El Salvador.I can't wait to go back!

  5. i have to say sweet black tea and digestive biscuits with chocolate on the bottom. they are delicious and surprisingly soothing on a cold english day.

    i absolutely love guava! try it with cream cheese. or in an empanada.

    it's so great to see you looking so well, and i really love talking to you on the weekend!

  6. Okay, favorite food from Sean and my honeymoon:

    Proscuitto wrapped around fresh buffalo mozzerella (eaten at a little restaurant in Rome).... best thing EVER!

    I have a postcard about it to send to you when I get a chance to go to the post office!

  7. daifuku mochi mochi mochi mochi mochi from Japan!!! although it doesn't sound it, sweet bean paste in the center of soft, gooey rice is as addictive as chocolate!

    PS I LOVE your pictures Luisa

  8. Sadly the name of my favorite food discovery abroad has escaped me. It is a mutant ice cream treat that is half ice cream sandwich and half chocolate covered ice cream. Its perfect because you grasp the sandwich part like it's a Popsicle stick and eat the chocolate covered ice cream side first, and when you're done with that half, you've still got a delicious ice cream sandwich to enjoy (and not a waterlogged piece of wood).

  9. Hi! :) Favorite Costa Rican food is Gallo Pinto!!! OMGSH. They usually have it for breakfast. It's a rice and black bean concoction ... with some great spices. Look it up!

    And in Ireland: Digestives cookies. SO good! And that can be found in the states :)

  10. oh, and PS: the cover to my Costa Rica scrapbook is the potato sack bag from Cafe Britt. :D Did you do the silly tour? It was fun :)

  11. In Venice, I loved going to the bakery early in the morning to buy bread dough before it had been made into loaves, and then using that to make fresh pizza! Also divine creme de caramel (like creme brulee but even better because of the runny caramel sauce) and these luscious iced cookies that I can only barely remember (but I remember packing on about 10 pounds because of them!).

  12. I loved rye bread in Germany! It's great with cheese, ham, vegetables, liver paste, fish and anything else. I enjoyed it at practically every meal.


  13. Hi Ms. L! I don't need a candy gift, but I dig the interactive site, anyhow. My favorite gustatory jewel, which I unearthed whilst living "Down Un-dah," is kangaroo. As the little buggers frequently hopped across the lawn, I was perpetually tempted to tackle one and bite a chunk out. The joeys were especially enticing, as one can not only imagine them fitting in a pot, but also, due to their marsupial nature, hopping into one quite willingly. Currently, I keep ordering Cabrito attempting to replicate the experience, to no avail.

    I hope your GRE-ing is still going strong; I used some words in context ;-P


  14. While studying abroad in Ghana I discovered the wonderful food of Fufu, a starchy dough made from pounding raw yams and mixing it with boiling water. It is a staple in all of Western African and is used to scoop up soups and stews, it kind of functions as a pseudo spoon! It was AMAZINGG with a good peanut stew (another staple). Let me tell you the whole time I was there the people hosting kept serving "Americanized" food, such as fries, chicken and stewed cabbage, but all we wanted was some more fufu and peanut stew! Haha, I wish I could make it here, it was THAT good!

  15. It's so hard to choose! I think my all time favorite would be gorditas de nata from Mexico. These warm, soft disks are rich and sweet. They were only sold during dias festivos, but they never disappoint!

  16. Fun idea, Luisa!

    My favorite is a chocolate flavored breakfast cereal from Croatia called Čokolino. It's super yummy, and full of vitamins and minerals! I eat it daily for breakfast when I visit...and usually smuggle a box or two home with me :-)

  17. Ummmm - aquas frescas in Miguel Aleman!

  18. When I studied in Chile and lived in the rural countryside for a few months, I had the best pan ever made. No ordinary bread, I tell you. An absolutely magical party in your mouth. But, after helping her make it and seeing how much lard went into the dough, it was never quite the same.