Conscious Food Choices

For the love of delicious healthy food…

Hello from Costa Rica!

As many of you know, I am currently in Costa Rica, working as a chef for two 3 week Yoga Teachers’ Trainings with Vidya Heisel.

Hello from Costa Rica!

The Southern Caribbean side  of Costa Rica is amazingly tropical and full of wildlife and exotic fruits and vegetables so I have been having a great time learning about all those odd looking hairy tubers they have here, and trying to figure out what to do with the huge and almost vegetable-like jackfruit and breadfruit!

Interestingly, despite the fact that there seem to be fruits and vegetables dripping off the trees here, there does not seem to be a deep food culture in Costa Rica. Especially for vegetarians. Gallo Pinto – which is rice and beans – and fried plantains are what you get…so after doing quite a bit of research on “traditional” Costa Rican cuisine, I opted to get my hands on as many local and indigenous fruits and veggies as I could get, and incorporate them into a more international menu. I am working with Tracy Morrisette, the Goddess Garden’s excellent new chef, who is making fantastic inroads with the gardeners and local area farmers, so I never know what is going to get dropped off in the kitchen these days! Sometimes its some strange hairy tuber, sometime a bright red fruit with inner meat that looks like a little yellow brain…

Here is a list of some of those crazy wonderful fruits and veggies I am working with, in addition to the daily supply of young and mature coconuts and many varieties of bananas that come from the trees on the Goddess Garden property

  • Carambola or “Starfruit”: (from Goddess Garden trees) a tart succulent fruit which looks like a star when cut. We use in dressings, juices and marinades.
  • Wild Grapefruits, Wild Limes and Sour Mandarins (from Goddess Garden trees) – interesting varieties of citrus are everywhere.
  • Naranjilla:(from Goddess Garden trees) this looks like a cross between a tomato and a persimmon and grows in a tree. It’s tart and can be juiced.
  • Tiquisque: This is a small brown hairy root vegetable which when peeled, cook up like a sticky potato. There are both red and white varieties.
  • Chayote Squash: These are a pear shaped squash with a very firm, dense, zucchini like flesh
  • Passionfruit: These are large round very tart fruits filled with slippery seeds – great for juicing.
  • Platanos or Plantains: looks like a big green banana.  When green can be served like a potato, often fried. When ripe they taste like a sweet but starchy banana.
  • Jackfruit: These fruit grow high up in very large trees and have a meaty yellow flesh that can be used like chicken in curries and cooked dishes.
  • Ackee: The soft inner flesh of a bright red fruit that grows on the trees around the property also has a meaty texture and can be fried and used in savory
  • Nami (pronounced Nyaami): This is a very large starchy tuber or root that tastes similar to Tiquiscque.
  • Yuca: This is another large starchy tuber.
  • Water Apple: These are bright red pear shaped fruit that are lightly sweet and slightly pear flavored. They are commonly eaten as a salad.
  • Pejibayes (also called Palm Fruit): These are small orange and green fruits of a palm tree, which when boiled taste something like a cross between a chestnut and a sweet potato. The locals love them boiled in salt and dipped in mayonnaise.

Pejibayes, or "Palm Fruit"

Water Apple






Carambola, or Star Fruit

February 18, 2011 - Posted by | Food Consciousness


  1. Jorin,
    What a great post. Who knew there were so many exotic fruits! Sounds like you’re having too much fun experimenting with them all.

    The snow keeps piling up here!
    Hugs to you and Vidya,

    Comment by Regina | February 21, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Reg – I am having a great time with all this crazy stuff. Stay warm!

      Comment by Jorin Hawley | February 21, 2011 | Reply

  2. Love your pictures and descriptions. Being a vegan you must plan ahead. I will be there only one week but would like to try all new things. Thank you

    Comment by Bonnie | February 17, 2013 | Reply

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