Gallo Pinto or gallopinto is a traditional dish of Nicaragua and Costa Rica made with rice and beans. The history of Gallo Pinto is not well known, and there are disputes between Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans about where the dish originated. One theory suggests that gallo pinto was brought into Latin America by African slaves that migrated into Latin America . Most Latin Americans agree that the dish is part of both countries now and that they share more similarities than differences. Variations of gallo pinto are popular in many countries close to the Caribbean.
Gallo pinto means "spotted rooster" in Spanish. The name is said to originate in the multi-colored or speckled appearance that results from cooking the rice together with black or red beans. Beans are quickly cooked until the juice is almost consumed.
There are other variations of this dish. Similar dishes are known as Moros y Cristianos ("Moors and Christians") in Spain and Cuba, or just Moro. A similar dish can be found in Panama, Honduras and in El Salvador, where it is called casados or casamiento. In the caribbean north coast of Honduras the dish is prepared using coconut milk, coriander and sometimes adding deep fried pork belly fat or Chicharrones and it is called "Rice and Beans" even in Spanish, since it was introduced to the Honduran cuisine in the northern islands of the country where the population speaks mostly English. Other variations include using pigeon peas or kidney beans usually instead of black beans in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico along with coconut milk. Similar dishes exist in Colombia (calentado paisa) and even Peru (tacu tacu).
Recently, empanadas filled with gallo pinto have become a popular alternative for people who have little time to eat breakfast.13