Costa Rica always has nice surprises for us.
Yesterday, a Tica arrived at our gate carrying a bucket, the contents covered with a dish towel. She removed the towel and revealed her treasures - tamales that she had made herself and was selling for just one mil (1,000 colones) for a pair.
Costa Rican tamales differ from Mexican tamales, which are small and wrapped in corn husks. Tamales here are the perfect size for a light dinner and are wrapped in banana leaves. They are labor intensive to make, taking up to two days, and are usually made at Christmas.
Two tamales tied together are called a piña. We will appreciate the labor of love by our Tica lady as we enjoy our tamales with a cup of coffee.