|NICARAGUA,Central COSTA RICA Central America
Gallo pinto, sometimes referred to only as pinto, is the traditional national dish of Costa Rica. Although many variations of the dish exist, at its most basic it is a blend of cooked and fried rice and beans, combined with herbs and vegetables such as cilantro, peppers, celery, and onions.
The name of the dish means spotted rooster, referring to the fact that the combination of beans and rice results in a spotted, speckled visual appearance. It is typically served as a side dish, either for breakfast (alongside eggs or meat), lunch or dinner, and sometimes with all three meals of the day.
The origins of the dish are probably Nicaraguan, with the name dating back to the 1900s, inspiring a rivalry between the two countries, so it is not just Costa Rican national dish, but Nicaraguan as well. The obvious difference is that the Costa Rican version uses black beans, while the Nicaraguan version uses red beans.
Regardless of its origins, the rivalry still continues, and gallo pinto remains a staple of both cuisines, with a small bottle of Salsa Lizano on the side in Costa Rica, a spicy condiment acting as a reminder of which country’s version of the dish one is consuming.