San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Western Cantons Hold Traditional-Food Contest

Costa Rican cooks in the cantons of Escazú,Mora and Santa Ana, west of San José, will put their abuelas’ recipes to the test this Sunday in a Traditional Food and Drink Contest, to be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Old Market in Ciudad Colón.

Organized by the Cultural Heritage Research and Conservation Center of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the event aims to increase people’s knowledge about traditional Costa Rican cuisine. Residents of the three cantons can compete in three categories: main dishes, desserts and drinks. First- and second-place cash prizes ranging from ¢75,000-125,000 ($146-243) will be awarded.

Registration is free and may be done the day of the event or in advance by calling 223-2533 or 255-3523. Contestants must bring a recipe, including ingredients and preparation instructions, for each dish entered, as well as identification.

The public is welcome to attend the event for a chance to sample authentic Tico cuisine.

The cultural heritage center has been holding similar contests since 2001, and has compiled traditional recipes from all over the country. According to Sandra Quirós, the center’s director, the activity started as a research project and evolved into contests to encourage widespread participation. Preservation of traditional recipes is an important benefit of the project.


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