free webpage hit counter
Ship Costa Rica alternate

new marine graphic
A.M.
Costa Rica

Your daily
English-language 

news source
Monday through Friday

Tico Travel
(506) 2223-1327              Published Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 257            E-mail us
Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
About us

Agents link trio to gang that set love traps for men
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The two beauties patrolled the nightspots of San José looking for victims. They would lure men to a supposed romantic encounter that climaxed with a gun in the face.

This is the latest series of cases of predatory women targeting would-be lovers.

The Judicial Investigating Organization staged four raids Tuesday and detained three persons. Two were women, identified by the last names of Luna and Authur. They were said to be the bait that attracted the victims. A man also was detained. He was identified by the last name of  Guevara.

There are at least five cases that investigators are trying to link to these individuals. They include the kidnapping of a Cartago businessman and one in La Sabana. When the victims were captured, they were forced to withdraw money from automatic teller machines.

If they appeared wealthy enough, the gang members contacted the family with a ransom demand.

Shortly before Christmas agents detained three other men who were riding in the vehicle taken from the Cartago businessman, who had been held two days. That trio is in prison awaiting judicial processing.

Ransoms ranged from 2 million to 3.5 million colons, some $3,500 to $6,200.

The raids Tuesday were in Guadalupe, Agua Caliente and in Cartago. Investigators said that they encountered identity papers of at least one of the victims in a Cartago search. They also recovered weapons.

There may be many more cases, but not all the victims will come forward. Most of the victims are married and would have problems at home if their wife knew they were cavorting with bar girls at nightspots.

North American tourists face similar love traps, but no foreigners were believed to be victims in
man trap

the latest cases. Single men alone in Costa Rica do   not have the family resources available to quickly pay a ransom.

However, love traps are many here, compounded by the easy availability of prostitutes at some nightspots. Men can find it difficult to differentiate between hookers and robbers pretending to be hookers.

Several love trap gangs are working nightspots in the Central Valley and along the Pacific coast, according to informal reports. Most do not use weapons, just a dose of Rohypnol, the so-called date rape drug, or just excessive alcohol. Perhaps the most notorious is the Viper Lady, who used to prey on middle-aged men. That gang has not been noted in downtown San José for several years, but they used to drug a victim at a convenient bar then take him to an automatic teller.

Several tourists have told of close escapes. One leaped from a taxi when he realized the two Colombian beauties he was taking home were in league with the taxi driver. Another felt the onset of a drug-induced sleep and fled from his living room to the bedroom where he locked the door and collapsed. He only lost some kitchen appliances and a television set to his two female guests.

The possibility that a newly acquired girlfriend will drug a Don Juan is why many local hotels required that extra guests in rooms provide full identification on arrival. They also check with the customer when the temporary guest is leaving.


Today's
colon
exchange rate
HERE!
Subscribe
to our
daily digest

Search
our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads
Classified
ads

Ads for
tourists

Display
ad info

Classified
ad info

Contact us


Sirena Hotel
residency in costa rica

revised Montana ad


Brand's Grille New Year's.
Costa Travel



Poderco Solar Costa Rica


K-12 rollover




Real estate ad

Friends rentacar

Real estate ad

Chris Howard's boo ad

Howard relocation ad

Del Rey page one

Grecia Real Estate

Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details


A.M.
Costa Rica
Second newspage
Go Dtuch luxury tax ad
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Puriscal Properties
Spotsmens
Click HERE for great hotel discounts


Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Thomas A. Burke, LL.M, Glenda Burke, LL.M
Gloria Burke, manager
Burke law firm

We offer real estate law, due diligence and escrow services,residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.
More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the
General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
5510-3/2/10

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
San Jose - Jaco - Heredia
5468-2/17/10

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
Skype: CONJURIDICA
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com 
Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
5290-12/2/09

Appraiser

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction management

www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
5755-6/14/10

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5495-2/17/09

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5563-3/21/10

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.
• Natural sound
• Lowest prices
• No more background noise, feedback or echoing
• American hearing consultant from D.C. & Atlanta
• Nine clinics including Hospital CIMA
• Authorized provider  to the U.S. veterans
• The worlds leading provider of hearing aids
      Widex hearing aids since 1956


Weinberg 070709
Allan Weinberg
We service the U.S. veterans/Foreign Medical Program. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5739-1/2/10

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
5537-1/14/10

Real estate agents and services

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
Latitude 9
Real estate, development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

www.latitude9.com
55672-5/25/10


MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
5406-1/6/10

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service


Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
TOLL FREE FROM THE US
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v


guns confiscated
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía 
y Seguridad Pública photo 
 These are some of the 3,213 firearms the Fuerza Pública 
 confiscated in the first 11 months of 2009. There even were
 136 homemade weapons and five submachine guns.
 Officers confiscated more than 2,700 rounds of
 ammunition.


U.N. health chief says
swine flu is still a threat


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The moderate impact of the H1N1 pandemic is the best possible health news of the decade, but the head of the U. N. World Health Organization Tuesday warned that more people – particularly in the southern hemisphere – could become sick this season and that it would be premature to say the health risk is over.

“It is too early for us to say that we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide,” said Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization. She was speaking at a year-end press conference in Geneva.

“There is no basis for any allegations that this is not a pandemic. We are seeing millions and millions of people infected with this new virus and we are fortunate that many of these people make recovery.”

Ms. Chan added that it would be prudent for her organization and member states to continue to monitor the pandemic evolution for up to 12 more months.

According to the agency, more than 6,000 people have died from the H1N1 since the outbreak began in April, compared with up to 500,000 who die annually from the regular flu. Pregnant women, children under 2 and people with underlying conditions such as respiratory problems are particularly vulnerable.

Ms. Chan said that in a background of a fragile economy where many people suffer from chronic diseases, a severe instead of a moderate pandemic could have brought momentum for health development “to a grinding halt and reversed the hard-earned gains that the world collectively has achieved in the last 10 years.”

She added that member states and World Health Organization partners have made steady but fragile progress in internationally-agreed goals in the past decade, and must work hard to maintain the momentum of progress and to catch up in areas that are lacking.

Among the priorities for the next year, Ms. Chan called on countries to continue to push for progress on the Millennium development goals, eight ambitious anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, especially in improving maternal mortality.

She noted possible roadblocks caused by weak and insufficiently-funded health care systems. She also cautioned against threats from policies outside the direct control of the health sector, such as from the financial or the agricultural sectors.


Have you seen these stories?




Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.










A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each weekday.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador

News of Panamá
Newspaper masthead
Del Rey page 2

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


   
Check out the printed version of the Top Story news feed and see what  you  missed.
Enjoy Incredible Beach Sunsets and  Sunrises. With the Pacific Ocean and the awesome mountain behind.
Elegantly built to your specifications. Delivered and set up at your home in Costa Rica.

A.M.
Costa Rica
third newspage

Brenes lawyers
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257

Widow, 76, in Guanacaste is victim of home invading trio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Robbers in the community of Santa Rita near Liberia sneaked into the home of a 76-year-old widow Monday night, confronted her in her bed and tied her up. She still was bound Tuesday morning when a maid came to work and freed her.

The woman, a U.S. citizen, lost money, two older television sets and her car that the robbers took, said a family member.

One of the three men entered the home through a second -floor window that did not have security bars. Once inside, the man allowed his two partners to enter through the front door, the family member said.

At least one was armed with a knife.

The men wore ski masks and woke up the woman as she slept. Then they took what they wanted.

The woman has been living in Costa Rica since 1998,
according to the family member who contacted A.M. Costa Rica. She was the victim of a home invasion once before. That was in 2004, just two weeks after a memorial service for her husband. Bandits at that time also used a knife and spent three hours sacking the house and eating food in the kitchen, said the family member.

Earlier this year investigators detained a gang of bandits who invaded a number of Guanacaste homes. They had the name comelones because they took time to eat food in the homes they invaded. The name comes from the Spanish word comer, meaning to eat. The bandits Monday night appear to be from a different gang.

The family member came forward because he thought that others should know about the crime. There was no police report released to the press.

"There are many things we love about Costa Rica, however, these two incidents, as well as several other lesser-intense events have left us feeling less than enthusiastic about the country," said the family member in a telephone call from the United States.


New U.S. ambassador was significant Obama contributor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Once again the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica will be a political player instead of a career diplomat.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Anne Slaughter Andrew of Indiana to be ambassador here. She is a Democrat and follows in the footsteps of a string of politically connected individuals, both Democrats and Republicans, who held the ambassador's post here. The position is filled by a nomination by the sitting president. The Senate must confirm the individual, according to the U.S. Constitution.

At the same session Christmas Eve, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thomas Shannon to be ambassador to Brazil. He was well known in Costa Rica as an assistant secretary of State in both the George Bush administration and the first year of the Barrack Obama administration. He is a career diplomat.

As is the case with many appointments, those who were confirmed agree to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate. There was a long list of ambassadorial and U.S. attorney appointments confirmed.
    
The Center for Responsive Politics on its OpenSecrets.org Web site said that Mrs. Andrew and her husband, Joseph J., have contributed about $88,000 mostly to Democratic candidates and fund-raising committees since 1989. It said
that since 1960 about a third of U.S. ambassadors were political appointments, based on information from the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Both Andrews are lawyers and registered lobbyists. Joseph Andrew was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton for the U.S. presidency. He is a former national chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Before the Indiana primary Andrew switched his allegiance from Mrs. Clinton to Barack Obama. A Washington source said that even though Mrs. Clinton won Indiana, she did so with a small margin making her vulnerable.

According to a biography released by the The White House, Mrs. Andrew currently is the principal of New Energy Nexus, LLC and advises companies and entrepreneurs on investments and strategies to capitalize on the new energy economy.

She served as counsel at Bingham McHale and as co-chairperson of the environment/energy team at Baker & Daniels, and also served as a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Patton & Boggs.

The Center for Responsive Politics said that Federal Election commission records seem to indicate that the Andrews contributed $11,399 to Obama during the 2008 election cycle. Election commission records seem to show that Joseph Andrew contributed $2,299 to Obama, while Anne Slaughter Andrew contributed $9,100, the non-profit watchdog group said.

Del Rey ad

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details



A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

viagra and generic ad
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257

OUr news feed library
 
U.S. Tax and Accounting ad




U.N.-backed container monitoring program called success

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Latin American port authorities are seizing more drug consignments and counterfeit goods along container routes thanks to a United Nations-backed initiative that is showing growing success after its inception six years ago.

Under the Container Control Programme – a joint project of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime and the independent, inter-governmental World Customs Organization – a newly established and trained Panamanian inter-agency profiling unit in the Pacific port of Balboa made their first seizures of containers carrying illicit goods.

“In only three weeks, the unit, which started operations in November, seized four containers from China, destined for Chile and Venezuela,” the Office on Drugs and Crime said in a news release on the programme, which assists port authorities in establishing profiling systems and in using modern control techniques to detect illegal goods in containers without causing disruptions in the commerce of legal goods.

“Inter-agency officials decided to inspect the respective containers because the declared goods were not consistent with the activity of the exporters. Large consignments of counterfeit T-shirts, fake branded shoes and towels were seized,” the agency said.

Earlier, container monitoring officials in Guayaquil, Ecuador, seized 25 kilograms of cocaine worth $1.7  million in Belgium at the retail level from a container
filled with bananas. Tracking details showed that the container was on its way back to Guayaquil because it had been rejected in the port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Further investigations showed that several other containers had been similarly rejected there and three additional ones were found with a total of 75 kilograms of cocaine, worth over $5 million, hidden in the refrigeration section of the containers.

In September, three containers from the small town of El Carmen in Ecuador were seized with various amounts of cocaine. As a result, the Ecuadorian shipping line ordered inspections of all containers originating from El Carmen, which is allegedly harbouring Colombian drug traffickers.

The programme was launched in 2003 to improve container security. While most containers carry legal goods, some are used to smuggle drugs, weapons and even people. Exchange of information by officials in participating ports have led to seizures in Antwerp and Hamburg, Germany, where cocaine busts have taken place.

It is expected these seizures will increase thanks to the innovative ContainerComm intelligence system, developed by the World Customs Organization, which facilitates communication between ports and provides vital information for risk assessments and container profiling.

Countries currently participating in the programme include Ecuador, Ghana, Pakistan, Panamá, Senegal and Turkmenistan.


Tax law promo



Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


A.M.
Costa Rica
fifth news page
Luxury tax ad
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257


Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Triple dose of good news
reported for U.S. economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has received a triple dose of encouraging news on consumer confidence, business hiring, and home prices that suggests a fledgling economic recovery is gaining traction.

Emerging from the deepest and longest recession since World War II, Americans' confidence in their nation's economy continues to rebound. The New York-based Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index stands at 52.9, up from 50.6 a month ago, and a marked improvement from a 25.3 reading in February.

"We have posted yet another moderate gain in December, primarily because people are more optimistic about the short-term outlook," said Conference Board researcher Lynn Franco.

Fueling that optimism are signs that double-digit unemployment in the United States will recede in coming months.  A survey of U.S. employers shows that 20 percent expect to hire full-time workers next year, up from 14 percent in 2009. Unemployment reached a high of 10.2 percent in October and currently stands at an even 10 percent. Although month-to-month fluctuations are possible, most economists expect the jobless rate to gradually decline in the coming year.

Another welcome sign is a stabilization of U.S. home prices. A private reading of home prices edged up .4 percent in October for the fifth month in a row. Eleven of 20 U.S. metro areas showed gains, although housing prices remain significantly depressed from all-time highs recorded in 2006.

David Blitzer of Standard and Poor's, helped compile the data.

"We are seeing some small gains in home prices. Looking at the overall picture, home prices are back to where they were at about 2003," said  Blitzer. "I think we will see continuing gains going forward."

Most economists predict a lackluster U.S. economic recovery in 2010. But Jim O'Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global financial firm, says current data point to better times ahead.

"The start of a real recovery," he said. "The question still, of course, is whether that will translate into positive job growth. And I think it will not necessarily immediately, not necessarily next week. But over the next few months we will see positive job growth. And as the year progresses, I think strength will start to feed on itself."

For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador

News of Panamá



News from the BBC up to the minute





BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.
BBC sports news up to the minute



Casa Alfi Hotel

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details
 

A.M. Costa Rica
sixth news page


Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment




San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257



Latin American news
Please reload page if feed does not appear promptly
México publishes edict
for same-sex unions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

México City is enacting Latin America's first law permitting same sex marriage.

Details of the new law to allow same sex couples to marry in the capital were published Tuesday in Mexico City's official register.  Last week, legislators approved the measure, despite strong opposition from conservatives and the country's Roman Catholic Church.

The measure changes the definition of marriage from a union between a man and a woman, to the free union of two people.  It also grants homosexual married couples rights such as the ability to adopt children, apply for loans and share insurance benefits.  The legislation replaces a 2007 law allowing civil unions and will take effect in March.

Publication of the law's details comes one day after two Argentine men married each other in Latin America's first legal same sex marriage.  Though gay marriage is not specifically recognized under Argentine law, the two were given the right to marry by the governor of the state of Tierra del Fuego.

The HIV-positive couple had previously planned to marry in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, but were stopped by city officials who cited conflicting judicial rulings regarding same sex marriage.

Passenger jet returns

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Continental Airline passenger jet had to return to Juan Santamaría airport Tuesday morning after a control panel warning light went on some 45 minutes into the flight. There was no damage or injuries, but more than 100 U.S.-bound passengers were delayed. The light suggested a potential malfunction in the reverse thruster system of the engines that is used upon landing.

For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador

News of Panamá





Latin American news feeds are disabled on archived pages.


Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


<
   
Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility.
Enjoy Incredible Beach Sunsets and  Sunrises. With the Pacific Ocean on the awesome mountain behind.
Near the airport in the picturesque mountainous outskirts of San José with 34 modern, spacious rooms.
  

A.M. Costa Rica
Food, festivals, arts, entertainment, poker
Del REy food ad
 
Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
Rentals
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 257

Researchers find that wine tastes
better when the light is correct


By the University of Mainz news service

The background lighting provided in a room has an influence on how wine tastes. This is the result of a survey conducted by researchers at the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Several sub-surveys were conducted in which about 500 participants were asked how they liked a particular wine and how much they would pay for it. It was found that the same wine was rated higher when exposed to red or blue ambient light rather than green or white light. The test persons were even willing to spend in excess of one euro more on a specific bottle of Riesling when it was offered in red instead of green light.

"It is already known that the color of a drink can influence the way we taste it," says Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel of the General Experimental Psychology division. "We wanted to know whether background lighting, for example in a restaurant, makes a difference as well."

The survey showed, among other things, that the test wine was perceived as being nearly 1.5 times sweeter in red light than in white or green light. Its fruitiness was also most highly rated in red light. Accordingly, one conclusion of the study is that the color of ambient lighting can influence how wine tastes, even when there is no direct effect on the color of the drink.

"The extreme lighting conditions found in some bars can undoubtedly influence the way a wine tastes," concludes Oberfeld-Twistel. He also recommends that serious wine tasting should be conducted in a neutral light color environment.

Perhaps a partial explanation of why lighting influences the way humans taste wine is that in pleasant lighting conditions, individuals also regard the wine as being more pleasant too. Additional research is planned.

papaya
The many seeds can be removed easily

Agricultural officials try
to boost unappreciated papaya


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agricultural officials are trying to give a boost to the unappreciated papaya to increase local consumption and exports.

The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería is promoting the fruit for its health benefits and said that there are about 1,000 hectares (about 2,500 acres) planted of the fruit in the country. Most of the production is in Pococí, Guácimo, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Paquera, Parrita and Orotina, the ministry said.

The fruit has an unusual taste that grows on consumers like a good scotch whiskey. Pineapple and mango seem to be more preferred in a fruit plate, but papaya does not have the sharp taste. Dried papaya can be a sweet treat.

The ministry touts the vitamins C and A that are contained within the fruit. The Universidad de Costa Rica has produced a new variety, payapa perfecta, that does not have a strong odor, and the tall papaya trees usually produce fruit of about the same size, perfect for marketing. The flavor is supposed to be better, too. Most papaya grown here is of this variety.

The tree actually is a big herb. The fruit sells cheaply in the marketplace, and the ministry notes that it has been lauded for its aid to digestion. Papaya also can be used as a meat tenderizer. Some Costa Ricans wrap meat in papaya leaves. Commercially it is a powder sold as a tenderizer. The seeds can be eaten. Some cooks grind them and serve them like pepper for their sharp taste.

Papaya now is exported to Canada, and the ministry hopes to increase exports to Europe.

Papaya is believed to be native to Central America. Mexican residents were eating the fruit long before the rise of the great civilizations. Now the fruit is produced all over the tropical world.

In Spanish it is called melón zapote, mamao, naimi, capaídso, fruta bomba, lechosa, mamón, mampucha, pucha and paque. In some countries papaya is not a word for mixed company, so substitutes have been created.


vanilla pods
Photo courtesy of Henry Karczynski          
These vanilla pods still are on the vine

Rare vanilla spice from Quepos
produced in fully organic setting


By Donna Norton

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
 
Chefs and hobby cooks from around the world visit Villa Vanilla, a certified organic/biodynamic spice farm operated by Henry Karczynski in Villanueva near Quepos.  The farm grows a variety of spices and essential oil plants, including vanilla, cocoa, and ceylon cinnamon.

The farm got international notice when it was the recipient of the periodic  "Longest Vanilla Bean" award in August 2008.  An independent vanilla Web site awarded this honor to the farm, proclaiming it to be the ultimate organic vanilla producer. The farm produced beans from 9.5 to 10.5 inches or from 24.5 cm to 26.5 cm. The award is a way of highlighting top vanilla producers.

Karczynski, a soft-spoken man and a U.S. expatriate with an MBA from Illinois, found his calling as a farmer while serving in the Peace Corps.  "Happiness and success are not defined by one´s amount of financial wealth," he said. "I enjoy what I do, and I am fortunate that it also affords me and my family a living."
 
After purchasing degraded pasture land in Quepos 23 years ago, Karczynski transformed the farm using agroforestry, permaculture and tropical biodynamic cultural practices.  Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies. The plantation is now also visited by students, researchers and practitioners of sustainable development, said Karczynski.

The farm markets its spices under the Rainforest Spices label.

The plantation offers a tour for visitors. The vanilla vines grow on a host tree and the dangling pods are filled with tiny edible seeds, said Karczynski. He notes that vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world. The plant is a type of orchid.

The pods have no flavor when they are picked, and it is the curing process that turns them into the highly demanded spice.

On his Web site Karczynski notes that "the pod can be chopped finely or processed in a blender and used to flavor cakes, puddings, ice cream, milkshakes and many everyday sweet dishes. The whole pod can also be used to flavor custards and other liquids, taken out, dried carefully and used again up to three or four times. To flavor milk, allow one bean per 500 ml, bring to a boil and allow to stand for an hour.

His two and a half hour spice plantation tour is topped off with a session of tasting of gourmet pastries and drinks made by his pastry chef.  At the tasting, exquisite spice drinks and desserts are brought to the tourists one after the other while they relax at Villa Vanilla´s secluded mirador overlooking mountains and rainforest.  A naturally sweet Ceylon cinnamon tea, vanilla/lime cheesecake, vanilla and/or cinnamon ice cream, and even farm grown and processed chocolate (cacao) for cookies and chocolate drinks are some of the offerings.  According to Karczynski, his Villa Vanilla plantation is one of two places in the world, the other being India, where these types of quality organic spices can be purchased, and even ordered via his Web site, www.rainforestspices.com.

Karczynski discovered on the farm ancient cacao artifacts used as tools in cracking cacao beans, including a large, egg-shaped stone, metate and mano in Spanish, and a rock mortar and pestle.  Villa Vanilla actually uses the large rock mortar and pestle artifact to help in the production of cacao nibs, edible pieces of pure cacao. It is clear that the pre-Colombian native inhabitants valued cacao plants. too.



chef's lasagna
Two large shrimp crown lasaña de chile pimienton.

Heredia' chef's signature dish
is lasagna without the pasta


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Chef Ruben Naranjo at the recently remodeled Bar Restaurant Alex Seth Friends in Santa Barbara de Heredia has as his signature dish  lasaña de chile pimienton. 

A former soccer player turned chef (he was formerly with the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio), Ruben said “Well, this lasagna does not have cheese or pasta, so it is a bit different. In fact it is based on sweet red chiles, avocados and shrimp.”

Directions: 

Wash two sweet red chiles and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until skin is blistered. Immerse in cold water and remove skin, reserve. 

Take a ripe, large Haas avocado and cut into small cubes and put in mixing bowl with the juice of two Mesino limes (yellow flesh without seeds), white onion finely chopped, cilantro, the skin of half a tomato finely chopped with salt and pepper to taste.  

Take eight pinky shrimp and two jumbo prawns and clean and place in bowl.  Take a frying pan and saute the shrimp in olive oil with a bit of finely chopped white onion, a tablespoon of brandy and a tablespoon of white wine until liquid burns off.  Set aside.

Assemble the lasagna on a plate by placing one red chile on bottom and spooning on the guacamole mix with four pinky shrimp; make another layer and on top put a red chile or two with nothing on it.  Take the two jumbo prawns and skewer them to the top with toothpicks and green pimiento olives.  Great as an appetizer or side dish.

A.M. Costa Rica invites recipes from chefs at other food establishments and from readers. Photos are great, too. Send them to editor@amcostarica.com.


Mamon chinos
Ministerio de Agricultra y Gandería photo  
White layer around the seed is what the fuss is all about.

Seasonable fruit makes inroads
in commercial production here


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 400 producers of mamón chinos have about 800 hectares (nearly 2,000 acres) planted in the fruit. The country has become the largest exporter of the product in Central America, according to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.

Seven years ago the ministry was encouraging the planting of the fruit in the southern zone as a barrier to citrus diseased that might come in from Panamá. Now that area and the Caribbean coast
mamon chino
Enough for a ight snack
product commercial quantities of the small, red or yellow spiny fruit.

The principal producing areas in the southern zone are the cantons of  Corredores, Osa, Ciudad Cortés and Pérez Zeledón. In the Provincia de Limón, the commercial producing areas are  Pococí, Guácimo and Siquirres.

More than 1,800 metric tons are exported each year to El Salvador and Nicaragua, according to  Alberto Montero González, head of the
ministry's section of non-traditional fruits. Although the fruit is cheap in Costa Rica, a kilo shipped to the United States brings from $4 to $7, the ministry said.

There are two types of mamón chino in the country.  The more traditional one is called chupachupa. This is not a freestone variety, and some say the fruit is not sweet. A new variety is  a freestone, and the edible pulp pulls from the pit easily. The ministry had distributed more than 40,000 saplings of this type over the last five years, and officials are encouraging farmers to substitute the more marketable variety for what they might now have.

The fruit is about as big as a golf ball, but a lot easier to nibble. Vendors sell both the red and yellow varieties from July through November. The mamón chino is called rambutan in Asia. The Latin name is Nephelium lappaceum.

The spiky, red or yellow fruit is held between the fingers and the top is bitten just enough to remove the hard outer shell. Inside is a sweet, pulpy mass surrounding a big seed.

The seed is edible but usually should be roasted first. It is the pulp that the casual nibbler seeks. Throughout the downtown and elsewhere in Costa Rica mamón chino-lovers can be seen walking along chomping at the fruit. Purdue University reports that the roasted seeds are said to be narcotic. The fruit can be made into a syrup or canned, but most are eaten fresh.

Costa Rican officials fear that the introduction of the citrus disease leprosis will cause great economic loss to the country. So they have established a line of control along the frontier of Panamá and seek to eradicate completely citrus trees inside this area adjacent to the border.

The mamón chino is one of the alternatives, the ministry said. The fruit can be grown from seed, but someone doing this runs the risk of lavishing effort on male trees that do not produce fruit. Montero recommends that farmers use cuttings and grafting to maintain a high quality of fruit.


potatoes
Cardiologists do not recommend the
editor's bacon and garlic Cartago potato medley.
For recipe, see below.

Cartago shows off complexities
of its cusine with contest


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


There is a lot more to the Provincia de Cartago than potatoes, and cooks of the communities have joined together to prove that.

The event last month was another of the culture ministry's efforts to capture the nation's traditions.

When most Costa Ricans think of Cartago, the words chilly and potatoes leap to their minds. The province, centered around the Canton of Cartago is generally higher than communities in the Central Valley. Cartago itself at 1,435 meters is 274 meters (about 900 feet) higher than the bulk of San José.

That may be bad for sunbathing, but the weather is great for temperate vegetable crops, including the potato, carrot, onions and even the chayote. And these work their way into the area's traditional menus.

There are seven other cantons, La Unión, Jiménez, Turrialba, Oreamuno, Alvarado, El Guarco and Paraíso. Each has developed their own variations on food. After all, they have had plenty of time. Cartago was founded in the middle of the 16th century, and Spanish settled in the region due to the healthy climate. The city was the nation's capital until 1823.

The region is also known for its conservatism, so one can expect that the Spanish tradition will be a strong influence on the local foods.

Garlic Cartago potatoes

By popular demand (Well, we got some e-mails, anyway), we include the editor's famous garlic potato medley shunned by cardiologists the world over.

Ingredients:

2 cans of Imperial (or similar) beer
half pound bacon (200 grams más o menos)
1 large onion
12 toes of garlic (more or less)
12 small (golf ball size potatoes or six tennis ball size) Cartago potatoes
cup of olive oil
Whatever extra seasonings you like such as Italian or Mexican or maybe you like parsley, thyme, bay leaves, or cilantro.

Procedure

Open and start drinking the first can of beer.

Cut into smaller pieces and start frying bacon in large fry pan.

In a few minutes combine chopped onion and chopped garlic in the frying pan. Put in the seasoning you like now. Add about half the oil. Keep heat moderate to let the tastes meld.

Don't forget the beer.

Wash and clean the small Cartago potatoes. Nuke them in a microwave for from 5 to 7 minutes.  Then chop them into sixths or eighths.

Don't forget the beer.

Put the potatoes in the same frying pan with the onions, bacon, and garlic for a few minutes. Sprinkle with the rest of the oil. Then after a few minutes transfer the entire dish to a metal or glass baking dish and stick in a pre-heated oven.

Depending on the time for dinner, cover with foil to keep garlic, onions and bacon from burning. Make sure to remove the foil during the last 10 minutes to make the potatoes slices crisp.

Reward yourself with the second beer. (This is really a beer-type dish. But port after dinner goes well, too.)

Serve with beer and meat of your choice, perhaps a pork roast.

mixture of nature's boundy

A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas  
Vitamin on the half shell to eat out of hand or in drinks.
From left, a seedy grandilla, a naranjilla with dark interior, a guava,
starfruit and a piece of snowy white
guanabana

A few thousand colons provides
a bounty of delicious fruits


By Saray Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Delights from star fruit to guavas to the prickly guyabana and the delicate naranjilla are on the market now, and you can get your daily dose of vitamin C with little trouble.

In water, milk or cocktails, the fruits give up their delicious tastes.

The rainy season brings pure water to revitalize the earth and improve the environment. It also gives a boost for some fruits. And this is a good time to explore fruity options.

Costa Rica has a long list of delicious tropical varieties rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C.

Blending fruits with water to make a refresco is common in Costa Rican homes. Water is preferred for its lower costs, but the daring can try milk and even cream for some of the fruit. Watch out for seeds if a blender is to be used.

A reporter went to the Mercado Central with a few thousand colons to seek out fresh fruit. Another option is the ferias del agricultor, but many markets are just one day a week.

At the central market there were at least guayabas, maracuyas, carambolas, naranjillas and guanabanas.

Here is what they are:

The guayabas or guavas are 1,100 colons a kilo, about $1.93. The baseball-size green fruit has five small protrusions on the flower end. Some fruits have up to 500 seeds but they can be eaten.  They are Mexican or Central American natives now found all over the world.

The carambola is the starfruit now grown locally and available in most North American supermarkets but not at 600 colons a kilo, or a bit more than $1. The whole fruit, including skin, can be eaten.

The maracuyá is the passion fruit or what is called grandilla here in Costa Rica. They are available for 850 colons a kilo, about $1.50. The fruit can be several colors, but most here are yellow. There are plenty of seeds. They can be eaten but some folks like to strain them for juice.

The naranjillas (1,500 colons per kilo) are like tiny oranges, with lots of seeds and a dark interior. They can be eaten out of hand, and the juice is green. Unripe fruits are sour but can be eaten with sprinklings of salt.

The guanabana is the soursop, a giant fruit that frequently is cut up to be sold. It runs 1,200 a kilo ($2.10) at the market. The creamy meat of the plant is eaten out of hand or juiced. The black seeds, about the size of those in a watermelon, are not eaten.

Each of these fruits can be the subject of its own monograph. But the wise shopper will try new fruits and in different ways. Some can end up in jam as well as drinks. Others can be reduced to a sweet syrup.

Some fruits have a reputation as a medicine or a cure. But that is a whole different article.


Pigs with the right genes sought
for the best tasting meat


By the University of the West of England Press Office

How can pigs be produced that provide healthy and yet good tasting meat?

Meat eating quality and healthiness are closely related to the amount and type of fat. During the last decade there has been extensive selection towards leaner genotypes which has resulted in reduction of not only undesirable subcutaneous fat, but also in a dramatic decrease in desirable intramuscular fat (commonly known as “marbling” fat).

Intramuscular fat has the key input in meat tenderness and juiciness and a low level of intramuscular fat is associated with dry and unpalatable pork. The challenge which the pig producing industry is facing now is how to increase intramuscular fat without increasing subcutaneous fat?

A project which has recently started at the Institute of Biosensing Technology in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Biomedicine at the University of the West of England (UWE) aims to identify the genes controlling subcutaneous and intramuscular fat deposition. The end-aim of this work is to provide data which could form a basis for developing a genetic test for intramuscular fat and which could assist pig breeders in genetic selection.

 The project is undertaken by Duncan Marriott, a doctoral student with a amster's degree in meat science and five years experience as a research technician at the University of Bristol's School of Clinical Veterinary Science.

“Pigs need to be leaner to produce healthy meat but to carry
sufficient intramuscular fat to maintain good eating quality,"
Marriott explaind. "The project will be conducted on a number of commercial pig breeds, which differ in intramuscular fat content. My challenge is to identify the genes controlling both the intramuscular and subcutaneous fat content in different breeds.”



pejibaye halved
A.M. Costa Rica photo      
The first step is to half the palm nuts

Editor's favorite soup is easy
and very much Costa Rican

By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Here's the lowdown on the editor's favorite soup. One serving is about a zillion calories, so Weight Watchers can tune out now.

The beauty of pejibaye soup is that it is easy to make, tastes great and is uniquely Costa Rican. The fruit have been grown here since long before Columbus.

Pejibayes are those palm nuts found in the vegetable sauna at the grocery. They range from orange to green and resemble large, bobbing acorns. When they are hot, they are easier to peel.

Purdue University in Indiana says that one average pejibaye fruit contains 1,096 calories. They are the perfect junk food: low in protein, high in fat.

Of course they're high in fat, they are the product of a palm tree. One palm tree can produce more than 140 pounds of nuts in a year. So they are far from endangered.

The biggest challenge in making pejibaye soup is in forcing yourself not to eat the peeled halves. They make a nice hor d'oeuvre topped with mayonnaise. Another challenge might be in getting someone else to peel and halve the fruit. There is a pit that must be removed. (Hey, Honey, can you give me a hand for a minute . . . . ?)

The soup is a snap. Drip a little oil in a saucepan and make tender chopped onions, garlic and maybe even jalapeños. Then drop in about a dozen pejibaye halves . Or two dozen. It really makes no difference because you can cut the soup with milk or cream to make it the consistency you desire.

Add a cup or two of water and begin breaking up the pejibaye. Or you could run the whole mixture through a blender. Add milk or cream to reach the consistency of soup. Serve hot and season to taste.

A little experimentation will show that the pejibaye mixture is perfect for a sauce over traditional foods. And they say fermented pejibaye will knock your socks off.


green mangos
A.M. Costa Rica photo     
A quick snack of green mango

Time for a sour green fruit
that's loaded with vitamin C


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Among the more underrated offerings of the Costa Rican produce markets is the green mango. Most expats know about ripe mangos and have enjoyed the drippy, juicy fruit with its unique flavor. They may also have used it in blended drinks or as a flavor for ice cream or soda.

Less respected is the green mango. This can be found prepared in the little baggies offered by street vendors. Included in the bag with the strips of mango is a bit of lemon and salt. Nice vendors also will add special ingredients, like chili, upon request.

This is street finger food. The long mango strips are bitter and an acquired taste. And that's about all the average Tico sees of green mangos.

The inhabitants of India and some Asian countries have a 4,000 to 5,000 year head start on using the fruit. Chutney,  the condiment identified with the British Empire and India, has a mango base.

Green mangos can hold their own in any taste test, and the addition of sea salt, chili, chilero or black pepper can cater to the desires of the consumer.

A real treat is a green mango salad. There are an infinite number of recipes. The basic salad contains either grated or strips of mango. From there on in, the choices are many. One version uses baked coconut and various nuts, bean sprouts and basil.

Those who want to add fire to the sour treat can create a mango-jalapeño salad, heavy on lime or lemon and pepper.

The fruit is so accommodating that a chef can hardly go wrong. The salad can become a main course with the addition of chicken or shrimp.

The mango also contains all sorts of healthful compounds, including vitamin C and fiber.

The only downside is the large seed in the middle that sometimes can be a challenge. Freestone versions of the fruit exist, but they are foreign to Costa Rica.


Chinese bottles
A.M. Costa Rica/Arron O'Dell
There's no need to read the bottle. In fact, most of us cannot, despite loosely enforced Costa Rican laws to the contrary that call for labels in Spanish. It's just time for experimentation!

Take the Chinese liquor plunge
and drink that mystery elixir


By Arron O'Dell
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

China is a country known for the Great Wall, temples, big cities, big culture, a billion people and their seeming love to eat anything.  If it grows out of the ground, walks, crawls, slithers, swims, flies or does any combination, the people of China have found a way to kill it, cook it, eat it and enjoy it.  However, the liquor traditions of China seldom come up in conversation.

There are more Chinese than you can shake a stick at around the globe and not one beer that is popular around the world.  This is the sort of thing not to be taken lightly. There must be a good reason for it.   Most Chinese joints here don't even sell an Asian beer and, if they do, it's almost always Thai or Japanese.  You will never here a Chinese expat say something like "Yeah, this Pilsen  is okay but you should try this beer I use to drink back home." 

What the Chinese did bring with them was liquor, high octane, burn-on-the-way-down, glorious liquor.  You haven't seen the stuff at Hipermás, any of the big mercados or your local super, because it is not there.  You cannot find it in any of the places you frequent for your standard shopping needs. 

The only way to track down Chinese liquor is to search out the small shops around town with the Chinese characters on the front.  These shops are here. You can find them.  When you fall into one of these places you hit gold because of the strange and exotic smells.  A good shop will have two or three shelves of bottles in a variety of shapes sizes with red and gold labels and writing that means nothing unless you read Mandarin.
 
My friend and I have found the best way to pick the best one is by style.  The first bottle we took home was chosen this way and still remains a favorite.  It was a short and fat bottle shaped like an oversize pineapple hand grenade with a colorful label.  When my friend saw it, he said something like 'I've got to have that bottle. It looks cool!'   He was that excited about this new elixir we had found. 

With bottle in hand we quickly made our way to the closest place to home that sold beer and yanked several six packs off the shelf and darted home at a near run.  With two open cans and empty shot glasses in front of us we stared admiring the bottle for a moment.  Then with stupid giddy expressions on our faces we poured. 

After the straight shot, we felt compelled to try it every way we could come up with until there was no more. We sipped it, drank it on ice, with soda, chased it, used it as a chaser for beer.  This tasting was was done very scientifically. 

It was very similar to Jägermeister without the bite on the front, and for 2,000 colons it was a superb deal.  Somewhere around around the bottom of the bottle it occurred to us it might be nice to have a name to put to this wonderful concoction.   We studied every character that  The People's Republic of China felt necessary to put on the ornate paper label on that fine, cheap bottle, and all of it was in some form of Chinese.  

When we inquired of the proprietor of the local Chinese restaurant, he told us that it was  an “export-only” liquor from mainland China. How fortunate for us that they chose to export this fine elixir!
Amistad hotel and restaurant


These spaces are reserved
for the country's
better restaurants



Food help and information

Take your gourmet cooking to the next level!
Your dishes will be the talk of the party. Learn how to plate like a pro, cook with wine, make gourmet sauces and more! Over 40 gourmet recipes and 300 meal suggestions with secret tips only a chef knows! More information HERE!
5234-cb17

World's finest 5-star restaurant secret recipes
Discover the secret recipes from the world's finest restaurants and cook 5-star dinners at home for a fraction of the cost! Make your friends and family go all wild and gaga over your food at the next bash, party or gathering. HERE!
5232-cb15

Top ten candy recipes. 
Learn how to cook some of the best tasting candy recipes in less than an hour. Any recipe can be fixed in less than an hour with no more than eight ingredients! All of these candy recipes have been perfected to a point where even people who dislike major ingredients in some candies can't get enough of our unique taste and flavors! HERE!
5233-cb16

Make your own GREAT beer!
Did you know that it REALLY is pretty easy to make a great tasting home brewed beer in your own kitchen?  You might find it hard to believe after the bad experiences you might have had or heard about from your friends. Learn how to brew your own beer with the BeerEasy.com video training series. Training includes videos on extract brewing, all grain brewing, original home brewing recipes, Brew your own beer today for a lot less than what C ervercería Costa Rica charges for Imperial Visit BeerEasy.com!
5235a-cb18


Food- and entertainment-related events and times are eligible for placement here at the usual classified rates. See how to place a classified HERE!






The plantain is a fruit that has triple flexibility in kitchen
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culinary landscape of pre-conquest America lacked some of the foods taken for granted today.

There was no sugar. That was imported by Columbus on his second voyage. The delicious mango did not grow here. And the banana did not come to the Americas until the 16th century. Even the ubiquitous rice plant is a colonial import.

Despite being imported, these plants flourished here. And no Costa Rican meal is complete without rice. The plantain, called plátano, also makes up a flexible part of the diet.

The flexibility is in the use of green plantains as a starchy potato or rice substitute and the use of the mature fruit in ways to take advantage of its sweetness.

The plantain is larger than the typical table banana. Its uses differ depending on the maturity. The green plátano can be cooked like a potato, grated into flour or fried to make chips. The patacone, a double-fried disc of plantain traditionally is decorated with refried beans, mayonnaise and avocado dip.

Compared to the rest of the world, Costa Rica is fairly conservative in using the plátano. Asian cooks are far more creative.

For most, the mature, almost black-skinned plátano comes fried as one of the regulars in the luncheon casado. They are called maduros and give off their sweetness when fried in hot oil.

Nutritional content varies slightly depending on the maturity of the plantain. A green plantain, about 220 grams or about half a pound, is about 360 calories with no calories from fat. A ripe fruit is slightly less, about 340 calories. The 2 gram sugar content of the green fruit increases to about 10 grams in the mature plantain. Both are reported to be a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C.

The non-fat label is a bit misleading because many of the great plantain recipes call for deep frying.

A good source of recipes is the Turbana cooperative Web site. The company features dishes for all three plátano stages.
plalntains
Typical display of green plátanos
 
Among these are plantain pancakes, mashed green plantains, fried plantains and several desserts.

Those who love patacones should know that some gourmet stores sell a press to make uniform discs. Others sell a product to fabricate a small plátano shell into which condiments can be spooned.

At home, the once-fried quarters of plantain can be pressed with the bottom of a bottle or some other hard object. They need to be reduced to about a quarter inch before deep frying again.


Chemical seen leaching from polycarbonate bottles to humans
By the Harvard School of Public Health news service

Researchers have found that persons who drink from polycarbonate bottles have a higher level of chemical bisphenol A , which is used in producing the containers.

Exposure to bisphenol A, used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics, has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans.

The researchers were led by Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the department of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, and Karin B. Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology.

Researchers recruited Harvard College students for the study in April 2008. The 77 participants began the study with a seven-day washout phase in which they drank all cold beverages from stainless steel bottles as a control.

Participants provided urine samples during the washout period. They were then given two polycarbonate bottles and asked to drink all cold beverages from the bottles during the next week. Urine samples were also provided during that time.

The results showed that the participants' urinary bisphenol A concentrations increased 69 percent after drinking from the
polycarbonate bottles. The study authors noted that concentrations in the college population were similar to those reported for the U.S. general population.  Previous studies had found that bisphenol A could leach from polycarbonate bottles into their contents. This study is the first to show a corresponding increase in urinary concentrations in humans.

One of the study's strengths, the authors note, is that the students drank from the bottles in a normal setting. Additionally, the students did not wash their bottles in dishwashers nor put hot liquids in them. Heating has been shown to increase the leaching of Bisphenol A from polycarbonate.

Canada banned the use of bisphenol A in polycarbonate baby bottles in 2008 and some polycarbonate bottle manufacturers have voluntarily eliminated the chemical from their products. With increasing evidence of the potential harmful effects of Bisphenol A in humans, the authors believe further research is needed on the effect of Bisphenol A on infants and on reproductive disorders and on breast cancer in adults.

In addition to polycarbonate bottles, which are refillable and a popular container among students, campers and others and are also used as baby bottles, bisphenol A is also found in dentistry composites and sealants and in the lining of aluminum food and beverage cans. In bottles, polycarbonate can be identified by the recycling number 7



Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
 Food
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details