I’m a moaner. Not like that, you perv. I find myself moaning awkwardly when eating a meal that knows exactly what my taste buds need. It doesn’t even have to be mind-blowing but for some reason the moment that I have deliciousness touch my flavor receptors, a mind explosion happens and it just comes out. Because of this, I frequently suffer from foodgasms. While experiencing our Coffee Connoisseurs dinner at Finca Rosa Blanca outside San Jose, Costa Rica – I just did that – and nearly made a spectacle of myself.
With practically everything sourced from the coffee plantation itself, I was looking forward to this organic, sustainable meal. It was here, on our last night in Costa Rica with our #GiftOfHappiness, that I had the best meal course of the year.., not to say it wasn’t without a few, erm… interesting courses before that. It went something like this.
Erica: For someone who doesn’t like coffee, I can imagine this will be an interesting evening for you.
Shaun: Two words. Bean. Water.
[The waiter brings us 2 glasses of red wine and our starter, a champagne glass filled with ceviche with plantains and camote chips. We curiously poke at it like a beached jellyfish.]
Erica: I don’t get it.
Shaun: Hrmm? (…a muffled noise comes out as he chows down.)
Erica: Where is the coffee?
Shaun: Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe we will see it soon?
[Our ceviche is hastily finished and with a big smile on our face our waiter brings us the next course, pegibaye, also known as peach palm. We had never heard of peach palm before but I’m always down to try almost anything once. It didn’t have legs or was staring back at me so I had no problem putting it into my mouth.]
[Shaun and I look at each other quizzically.]
Shaun: What is this?
Erica: I dunno. It says peach palm. No clue.
[We both take a big bite. As we move it around our mouths both of us look at each other in horror.]
Erica: Yeah. No. Maybe it is better with the crackers?
[Shaun looks at me with disbelief as I stick another mouthful of pegibaye in my mouth. I crunch a few times and start to grimace.]
Erica: Its… too… gritty and fibrous [I say while crunching on the crackers, having bits of crumbs falling out. I’m a classy lady.].
Shaun: Well, if it doesn’t taste good, that probably means it’s good for you.
[I quickly go for my wine to wash away the remnants that seem to be sticking to my tongue. The fibrous pieces somehow make their way in between my taste buds.]
Erica: Oh God. It won’t go away.
[Our soup is brought to the table as Shaun and I politely push the pegibaye to the edge of the table in hopes that it gets picked up. It is rare that we don’t like things so this really caught us off guard. I look down to see a hearty tomato based soup with what appears to be coffee in it. Shaun and I bring it to our mouths with a bit of reservation.]
Erica: This can either go really, really bad or really, really good. Cheers!
[A deep, earthy flavor dances on my tongue and I smile.]
Erica: Oh thank God.
[This tomato coffee soup with leek worked incredibly well together. The soup would have been fine without the coffee but it is what really brought the soup to another level. The flavor profile was expanded exponentially to include an earthy and “dark” taste to it that wouldn’t have been achieved otherwise.]
Shaun: I can do coffee like this.
[Our soup was finished in record time and our chicken dish was promptly delivered. A small perfectly sized chicken breast with a red onion red wine reduction sits gorgeously on the plate looking at us. “Eat meeeeee…..” it called - or so I thought because I think I was doing it a favor by stuffing it into my pie hole. Hell, no words were even really exchanged.]
Shaun: So that was awesome. I wonder what they are bringing us for dessert?
[A gorgeous cut of filet mignon makes its way to our table, cooked medium rare and covered in a red wine espresso reduction.]
Erica: Holy crap how many courses is this meal? [I look around a bit confused.]
[But my stomach knows no bounds when it comes to beef. It opened up the reserves and I was on my way to eating the BEST COURSE OF THE YEAR. I delicately cut the filet with ease, dip it into the reduction, and bring it to my lips. A flavor explosion occurs in my mouth…]
Erica: Mmmmmmmmm…… [My eyes roll to the back of my head.]
Shaun: Yup, that is a tasty cow.
Erica: Oh…. God…… [My eyes close.]
Shaun: Wow, that is *really* doing it for you…
Erica: [I hold up my finger.] Shhhh….. I’m having a moment.
[I take a sip of my red wine. I have finally reached a new level of wine appreciativeness. The red meat with the perfect char and the espresso reduction paired with the red wine took the flavors up a notch and I sunk into my seat to take in what was happening in my mouth.]
Erica: I’m feeling borderline profane for the effect it is having on me.
Shaun: You do what you gotta do. [As Shaun winks at me.]
[I felt as though I should have been rolling on the floor in some new culinary ecstasy. What ever was happening, I wanted more. I felt faint, a little warm, and as though I was flirting with food danger. Never in my life had I had such a full body experience before. I was sitting there in complete bliss, smiling - a little embarrassed but to hell with anyone staring! This was MY MOMENT.]
[The course ended too quickly and the waiter brought out our dessert - what appeared to be freshly baked, fudgy chocolate cake. I reveled in the fact I saved my red wine in hopes for a chocolate ending.]
Erica: Yup, I’ve made my decision. Red wine and chocolate may be my newest favorite thing ever.
Shaun: We’ll have to make sure to have it more often when we get home.
Erica: Damn skippy!
And that is how we ended dinner. We are classy mofos who ate classy food in a classy joint and somehow classily rolled ourselves back into our very awesome hotel room to promptly fall into a food coma. That, my friends, is how you end a fabulous vacation.
I poked my stomach.
Erica: Yup. I love my life.
Have you had a meal that made you moan? What is your favorite meal from your travels?
Disclosure: We were guests of the Costa Rica Tourism Board, however all opinions are our own.