Pura Vida!


with Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
May 30, 2014
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Tags: caribbean Cuban Latin
Pura Vida!

This expression is perfect for kicking off summer. “Pura Vida” literally translates to “Pure Life”. Throughout Costa Rica, this simple expression has a much deeper meaning. It’s an attitude of being grateful for what you have and experiencing the joy in life. We know that food brings people together to celebrate and enjoy life, from summer picnics to campfires and barbeques.

This summer we are tying these two ideas together, with the introduction of three new Latin and South American inspired seasonings that are in stores now: Caribbean Curry Powder, Cuban Island Spice, and Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning. We will be introducing these blends in more detail in the coming weeks but wanted to give you a first look:

Slow Cooked Caribbean Spiced Ribs

Caribbean Curry Powder: This salt-free blend features flavors from around the Caribbean, including island-inspired curries and traditional Caribbean ingredients like annatto, allspice, ginger, and scotch bonnet chiles. What’s great about this blend is that it’s family friendly (in other words, not too spicy) so our recipes for Caribbean Fish Curry or Slow Cooked Caribbean Spiced Ribs will appeal to an entire crowd.

Cuban Island Spice: This versatile seasoning is a blend of two cornerstones of authentic Cuban cuisine: Adobo (oregano, cumin, and salt) and Sofrito (chile peppers, onions, garlic, tomato, cilantro, and parsley). Our recipe for a twist on the classic Cuban sandwich, the Bistro Cubano, is a great recipe to get to know this blend.

Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning: Our spin on a traditional Chilean seasoning, we handcraft this simple but flavorful seasoning from chiles, coriander, smoked sweet paprika, salt, and oregano. We also put our spin on a Chilean street food classic, the Chacarero Chilean Steak Sandwich. Thin strips of steak are perfectly seasoned with Merkén then topped with layers of avocado, Beer Battered Green Beans and Merken Spiced Dipping Sauce.

Bistro Cubano

In addition to these new seasonings, we have many tried and true Latin-inspired favorites and recipes. So, whether you’re vacationing in the Caribbean this summer or just in your backyard, we encourage you to let these blends inspire you to live Pura Vida style:

Bajan Seasoning: Inspired by the fresh herbs and chiles prevalent in Barbadian cuisine, this herb and lime seasoning is great on its own or as a base for additional spices. (Read the inside scoop on the creation of this distinctive blend in our post about The Pursuit of Bajan.) Bajan Seasoning is a perfect addition to marinades and dressings, or try one of our many recipes featuring this island flavor, like Bajan Hot Pepper Grilled Chicken.

Barrier Reef Caribbean Style Seasoning: Bright citrus and zesty chiles combine to create a flavor that is perfect for seasoning fish, shrimp, and scallops. The brown sugar base makes it a surprisingly good addition for baking; try Spicy Emma’s Shortbread Cookies for a new spin on traditional chocolate chip cookies for your next summer picnic.

Chacarero Chilean Steak Sandwich

Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend: This seasoning gives the familiar flavors of lemon and garlic a tropical twist, with the addition of Caribbean spices like ginger, allspice, mace, and cloves. It makes an easy marinade that is wonderful on pork, chicken, or seafood. It also makes a great cold salad dressing; try it out on our recipe for “Waldorf” Chicken Salad.

Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning: This South American-inspired seasoning features the fruity Aji Amarillo chiles, with a mild-medium heat level and citrus notes. Earthy annatto seed and zesty makrut lime leaves round out this customer favorite. Liven up your side dishes this summer with a Trio of Roasted Jalapeño Salsas or a Latin American-inspired White Bean Hummus.

Chimichurri Dry Marinade: This Argentinean-inspired blend is full of flavor. While a fresh herb chimichurri is classically used to top steak, our dried version makes a great marinade for summer grilling; try it out on our recipe for Gaucho Chops.

Whether you’ve been dubbed the grill master at a barbeque, are making a late summer dinner for your family, snacking on the patio or kicking back poolside with a refreshing drink, make this summer about living Pura Vida!

If you’ve made one of these dishes, or any of our recipes, please click on the “Reviews” tab at the top of any of our online recipe pages to leave your comments.

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