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  • Writer's pictureCelia Cerasoli

Living in Paradise

Rainbow over Lake Arenal

It's always exciting for us to leave the winter weather in Charleston and to head to our Property in Lake Arenal in Costa Rica! When we arrived at the airport in Liberia, we were greeted by Ariana, who runs things here for Franz, and her daughter Chandra.

The next days were filled with visiting our Costa Rican “family” and friends and enjoying the amazing climate here. Ariana’s brother Rolbert runs the large Finca (Franz’s cattle farm) as well as Finca Marenal. He and his beautiful family welcomed us the day after our arrival with an indigenous lunch of Sopa… a hearty broth with beef, and quite an assortment of vegetables, including yucca, potato, yams, corn, carrots, as well as acorn and chayote squash. It is traditionally served with rice if anyone feels they need a few more carbs!

A hearty bowl of Sopa

Lunch with the family at the Finca

The broth is warming, the slow-cooked beef is tender and flavorful, and the vegetables are hearty. All in all, this is a most comforting and sustaining dish! In fact, I’ve already enjoyed it twice since we are here. There is a little “Soda” (that’s what they call roadside food spots here) at the bus terminal that makes it every Friday; so, since it was cool and raining, we decided to indulge. Even though we sat outside (inside is not an option here!), the Sopa satisfied and warmed us from the inside out.

If you are interested in making Sopa, I found a recipe online. Here is the link:

While food is the subject, I also must tell you about “Tilapia Night” at a local bar. The owner fishes in the lake and serves the fresh Tilapia every Monday night. We sit outside sipping our local beer waiting for plates of deep-fried whole Tilapia, served with fried yucca and a salad. Just squeeze the fresh lime over the fish and break through the crunchy skin to the tender white flesh. Using fingers is a must, as you want to get every morsel off the bones. We can’t wait for Mondays around here.

There are many reasons to visit Costa Rica and the food is just one of them!

Up next: This Big Bull Went to Market...

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