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One of my favourite things to do in a new country is visiting the local supermarket. Seeing the locals go about their day to day lives is the ultimate cultural immersion! But for me it goes beyond that. I find it fascinating to browse the aisles in search for wacky and weird or simply new and interesting foods/drinks that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

So here are a few of my Costa Rican favourites!

Costa Rican Supermarket Finds: Salsa Lizano - Costa Rican Salsa used on rice and beans and pretty much everything else consumed by the locals

Salsa Lizano – Costa Rican Salsa used on rice and beans and pretty much everything else consumed by the locals

Costa Rican Supermarket Finds: Chicharritos, smocked pork rinds, are one of the locals' favourite snacks. They come in a variety of flavours similar to North American chips.

Chicharritos, smocked pork rinds, are one of the locals’ favourite snacks. They come in a variety of flavours similar to North American chips.

Costa Rican Supermarket: Platanos

Platanos, are a type of chip found in Costa Rica made out of plantains, a type of starchy banana that’s consumed cooked rather than raw like it’s cousin sweet banana. The chips are similar to banana chips in texture, but are not sweet at all.

Costa Rican Supermarket: Imperial - local Costa Rican beer

Imperial – local Costa Rican beer

Costa Rican Supermarket: Rum and Coke

BamBoo: Premixed Rum and Cola, 7.5% alcohol – a Costa Rican favourite.

Costa Rican Supermarket: White Iced Tea

Tropical brand has a number of great alternatives to North American iced tea . This is Té Limón (lemon tea) and Té Blanco (white tea). There was also Té Rojo (red tea) and Té Melocotón (peach tea), but my favourite was Té Verde – green tea with apple flavouring. It’s full of sugar (although it does come in a sugar reduced version as well), but it’s delicious!

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Cultural Close-ups is a series of photographs and stories from around the world that go beyond the pretty sights and famous attractions. If you’d like to contribute a photo and a short story to Cultural Close-Ups, please email your submission to [email protected]

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One of my favourite things to do in a new country is visiting the local supermarket and that's exactly what I did in Costa Rica...

Have you seen any of these Costa Rican finds in supermarkets elsewhere in Central or South America?