Approximately 95% of the Costa Rican population are of Spanish or Mestizo (mixed) heritage, heavily influencing the country's cooking style. Its fusion cuisine combines elements of culinary traditions from Africa, Italy, France, China and Spain. Costa Rica's traditionally mild, not over-spiced cuisine usually features rice and beans, which are also the main ingredients in the national dish, gallo pinto.
Common desserts are queque seco (orange pound cake), torta chilena, miel de chiverre (sweet white spaghetti squash), tres leches, arroz con leche (rice pudding), dulce de leche and suspiros (meringues).
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add vinegar and cream of tartar. Continue beating until smooth. Sprinkle sugar into mixture gradually, one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating for 3 more minutes.
Fill pastry bag fitted with large star shape with mixture. Pipe meringues into medium-sized "kiss candy" shapes leaving a distance of 2" apart from each meringue on a buttered or greased baking sheet.
Bake for one hour or until light brown. Turn oven off and let meringues dry in oven 2 to 3 more hours without opening oven door.
Remove meringues from cookie sheet with a spatula. Store in airtight container.
Recipe courtesy of CostaRica.com.