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We show you the must-eat foods and famous drinks from Puerto Rico
Don’t get fooled by Puerto Rico’s status. Yes, the Caribbean island is indeed an unincorporated U.S. territory, but that doesn’t imply that the menu is all about fast-food burgers and fries.
Puerto Rican foods are a mirror to the cultural union between indigenous, Iberian conquistadors, African and American concepts. Due to the use of indigenous herbs and spices, the cuisine got itself the name of 'cocina criolla' (Creole cooking).
Leer en español: 5 alimentos que debes comer en Puerto Rico
Bellow, you can find a list of local dishes that shouldn’t be missed during your next trip to Puerto Rico:
The quintessential Puerto Rican dish can be found in Cuba (where it’s called Machuquillo), Florida or New York. Mofongo’s main ingredient is fried green plantains which are mashed with garlic and pork cracklings (or bacon). It can be served on its own or as a side dish. You can also select the filling by picking a stuffed mofongo which is prepared with shrimps, vegetables, meat or fish. It’s difficult to find a restaurant on the island that doesn’t serve this fantastic plate.
Puerto Rican’s love their roasted pig so much that they transformed it IGNORE INTO a tradition. There’s even a 'lechon route' (Ruta del Lechón) for those who can’t get enough of their roasted pig dishes. If you enjoy deliciously seasoned roasted pig, perhaps a trip to Guavate shouldn’t be missed. There are a large number of lechoneras (open-air restaurants dedicated to roasting pigs) that offer different variables of the famous dish.
• Puerto Rican Piononos
Piononos are the perfect island appetizer. They are easily prepared using ripped, sweet plantains stuffed with seasoned meat or seafood and deep- fried. The Boricua version is different from the Spanish one because it replaces the layers of pastry with plantains.
, while the seafood fans can taste the shellfish or shrimp variety. One of the most popular versions is the asopao oregano. Local restaurants serve several variations of this timeless classic. For the meat lovers, they offer the flavored pork or beef andAsopao is the Boricua answer to the classical American chicken soup. This delicious home-made gumbo has as main ingredients rice and chicken, flavored with garlic,
Asopao• paprikaasopao with pigeon peas (asopao de gandules).
• Fried foods: alcapurrias, almojábanas, and bacalaítos
Puerto Ricans love their deep-fried dishes ('frituras') and if you visit the countryside, you’ll find roadside kiosks where locals enjoy different variations of 'frituras'. You can start your island culinary trip by savoring alcapurrias (green bananas and yautia are mixed until we get a smooth dough and then stuffed with spicy ground beef and fried) and later you can move further the culinary road by tasting empanadillas (the dough is filled with fish, beef, cheese or vegetables and fried). Almojábanas are cheese-flavored rice fritters while bacalaítos are codfish fritters. The Puerto Rican love for all things fried comes to light while tasting the numerous variations of bold appetizers.
• Piña Colada
The enchantment island (la isla del encanto) is celebrated for the 270 miles of sunny beaches, amazing cuisine, and colonial architecture, but Piña Colada, one of the most popular cocktails in the world, should also make the list. This delicious coconut- rum- pineapple drink was invented here and since 1978 it holds the title of National drink. In only four decades, Piña Colada achieved worldwide success, becoming the quintessential beach cocktail.
LatinAmerican Post | Adina Achim
Copy edited by Juliana Suárez