Thursday, May 22, 2008


Sure, piña means pineapple in Costa Rica, but it has a very different use as well. If you go to some rural fiestas in Costa Rica you can almost always buy tamales. They'll come in pairs, the two tamales wrapped together with twine. This is una piña de tamales.

I learned this one the hard way. I was at some fiestas and ordered a tamal. The server asked me if I wanted a "piña". After giving her my best look of disbelief I repeated that I wanted un tamal. After realizing why I was confused, she explained to me that tamales are usually served in piñas, or pairs of tamales.

Man, did I feel zampaguavas!


Mel said...

I had a similar experience while living in San Pedro. At the local Perimercados, they sold tamales, and I decided to try some. I saw the sign said "Piña" so I asked in surprise if the special ingredient in these tamales was "Piña"! Then I got the explanation of what it really meant :)

Thomas Carmona said...

Yeah, you'd think they're just trying to fool with us by using that same word in such a different way (which actually makes it a different word). However, I found out that the word does indeed have legitimate Spanish roots. Here is the definition that the Real Academia gives:

Conjunto de personas o cosas unidas o agregadas estrechamente.

muebles asturias said...

Little doubt, the dude is completely just.