If you’ll be in Costa Rica during Semana Santa, April 17th to the 24th , you’re in for a Tico treat, especially if you like seafood. Coast to coast, chefs in family kitchens, hotels, resorts, and restaurants are gearing up their menus to deliver the goods most in demand-fresh caught fish. According to La Nacion, consumption of mariscos soars to the highest levels of the year during Easter week.
On the Pacific side, Enrique Mora, executive chef at Hotel Villa Caletas in Jaco Beach will share his tuna tataki with scallops and mango relish- April marks the beginning of mango season in Costa Rica. At Hotel Punta Leona, chef Manuel Cerdas will prepare Paella de Mariscos for dinner guests- the 100+ reservation list is nearly full. Along the Caribbean, local fishermen are busy getting their tools of the trade in order, and the orders are piling up fast. In Puerto Viejo, chef Ricardo Fernandez of the Lizard King Resort’s Mexican restaurant says his shrimp dishes have recently been selling out, and he’ll be enhancing the Mexican selection with Semana Santa seafood specials, including Guiso de Camerones, a spicy shrimp stew inspired by his Ecuadorian roots.
Words to the wise: For those without the means or mood for a sit-down seafood spread, the local markets are stocking up on snacks full of Semana Santa sabor. Quickie’s Arroz con Mariscos has a pull tab top and goes for about three dollars, and a can of Roland’s White crab meat is just over $5. Don’t forget that in Costa Rica, the sale of alcohol will be generally prohibited from Thursday night ‘til midnight on Good Friday, so stock up in advance or expect to dine sans buzz those days.