Living Longer, Healthier & Happier
— Recipes from Costa Rica
Cookbook Captures Flavors and Pura Vida Lifestyle
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Melissa Guzman has always had a passion for great food. Originally from a small, traditional farming town in the mountains of Cartago, she grew up with many traditional recipes that were shared together with friends and family.
Working in the tourism business in Jacó Beach, Melissa would often have requests from foreigners asking her about local foods and some of her recipes. One day a traveler told her, “you should make a cookbook.”
A couple of years later, Guzman published Living Longer, Healthier & Happier – Recipes from Costa Rica, which has been one of the top selling cookbooks in the country. In addition to being a collection of traditional and modern Costa Rican recipes, the book showcases the healthier and happier pura vida lifestyle centered around Tico food and culture. While the recipes are one step towards improved well being, foodies also receive bonus tips for living longer, in a happy and healthy state.
‘I can still connect to people and do what I love differently.’
More ways to share
But Melissa did not stop there. Over the past year, she has been offering private cooking classes in Jacó. She shares not only her recipes but their underlying stories, all while providing a full immersion into the culture of Costa Rica. With tourism coming to a halt as an unfortunate pandemic outcome, one silver lining has been the increased time people have to spend on activities they enjoy at home, including cooking and learning new recipes. Like many others who have found ways to adapt their hard-hit livelihoods, Guzman has begun offering on-line cooking classes for those seeking to try authentic Costa Rican dishes.
“These challenging times have been a wake-up call for a lot of us, showing us that there is not just one way to do things,” she said. “We can always change our path and learn to evolve. I heard about online cooking classes long before the quarantine, and I remember being very skeptical about it. Now that I have been doing it for a while, I can see that they work and that I can still connect to people and do what I love differently.”
Escaping online for some Costa Rica culture might just be what many need right now. Learning to make some delicious ceviche might not hurt either!
Learn more about Melissa’s book, recipes and classes at recipesfromcostarica.com