For Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans gallo pinto is an important part of the diet. Costa Rica claims that the name gallo pinto was coined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Basically, rice and beans are boiled in coconut milk and a habanero chilli, known locally as Panamanian chilli, is added. You get a spicy, smoky flavour that can be used in a variety of dishes, one of the typical things used in Costa Rica is Lizano sauce, which gives the Costa Rican gallo pinto its unique special taste.
Instead of being a whole meal, gallo pinto is generally a side dish, it is a dish usually prepared on Sunday and enjoyed until the next Saturday if resources allow. Adding a some of beef or chicken to this dish makes it a whole meal.
If you are traveling to Costa Rica or Nicaragua be sure to try this famous dish, gallo pinto, which is widely available, you can even get a taste of it in Central America, but its never as good as the locally prepared meal.
Gallo pinto is one of the many dishes sold at food stalls, and can be eaten at any time in Nicaragua. The dish is sometimes sold as fritangas and can be eaten in almost any Nicaraguan restaurant, hotel, bar and even on the streets.
The dish contains fried plantains (called tajadas locally) and the fried sweet plantains, are common in Venezuelan dishes.
Street variants of gallo pinto are usually made with fried black beans, shredded beef and freshly prepared corn tortillas. The freshly prepared gallo is served with fried or scrambled eggs and is usually served on a tortilla with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, coriander and a few other spices.
Gallo pinto is a traditional breakfast, common in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica and it is also used in main meals. When eaten for breakfast, it can be served with eggs, beans, cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, coriander and a few other spices. It can also be served as an appetizer.
The recipes for Gallo Pinto varies greatly in every country in the world as it seems that every country has adapted it for the local pallet. Depending on the spices used and the secret family recipe, the recipe tends to be slightly different.
It can be prepared with artichoke and or fresh coriander sprigs as decoration.