Too much time has passed. Too much! Both in Costa Rica and since we’ve made a post here.
We have less than a month left here; we leave November 30th. Sadness.
Since there’s too much to talk about, I’ll stick to one topic.
While many companies from the US are also here (I’ve seen Wal-mart, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Office Depot, Burger King, and KFC), there are companies that are unique to Costa Rica or Latin America. For example:
These two are both ice cream companies/shops. POPS is more or less just ice cream, and they have a chain of stores as well as ice cream products in supermarkets. It’s a little more “high-class” than Dos Pinos, with higher prices generally.
Dos Pinos (“two pine trees” if the logo isn’t clear!) has ice cream as well as other dairy products, such as milk and cheeses. They’re much more accessible, having a wider variety of products, and they’re somewhat cheaper than POPS. (Unfortunately, ice cream in general here is more expensive than in New York, at least in containers.)
Pozuelo is a company that manufactures cookies and crackers. Unfortunately, both “cookies” and “crackers” are translated as “galletas”, so sometimes when someone offers you crackers, you say yes because you think you’ll get cookies, but you’re disappointed when you get crackers. It happened to me.
As far as crackers go, the three most common from Pozuelo are “soda” crackers (basically saltines, they come salted or unsalted), “club” crackers (similar to “soda”, but with more flavor), and “Fibra y miel” (bran and honey, they’re excellent). As for cookies, there are various cookies that have some filling (like Oreos) and there are “María” cookies, which are harder to describe than I thought they would be. They’re slightly soft cookies with… tasty. Like the site mentions, they have a special texture and taste, so it’s hard to relate them to other cookies.
However, while the big companies are well-known and reliable, one thing I like very much is how many small business there are. There are many bakeries and pastry shops, small copy shops (I think that’s what they’re called, where you can get copies and buy school supplies), “mini-súpers” (something like convenience stores, coming from mini-supermarket), hardware stores and “sodas” (small cafeterias with typical Costa Rican food, cheaper than restaurants) that are run by a single family, sometimes with a handful of employees.
I’m pretty sure a lot of cities are like this in the United States, but I think generally people go to the bigger stores there, and here there is a preference for the smaller shops. Foreigners who come here will likely gravitate towards the larger shops, physically because they’re larger (see Isaac Newton) and mentally because they’re familiar and it’s more convenient having everything you need in one place. Although, sometimes even the familiar places aren’t as familiar: McDonalds, for example, offers McPinto (a breakfast dish with scrambled eggs and gallo pinto, which is rice and beans), pineapple pies (instead of apple pies) and the McGuayabita McFlurry, which has a candy (Guayabita) that I don’t believe to be available in the United States.
My best translation is “a chocolate candy with a gummy guava-flavored filling”.
Not sure if that counts as one topic, but that’s all for this post. Reason for the long period of time between posts, as well as not having my own photos: broken computer, and broken camera. Qué pereza. But I hope to have another post up next week on a different topic, exactly what we’ll see.