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Cuisine in Puerto Rico

Cuisine in Puerto Rico

Mofongo con camarones
Mofongo con camarones
Fish with plantain fritters (tostones) and salad
Fish with plantain fritters (tostones) and salad
A typical Puerto Rican meal: pork chops (chuletas), rice & beans (arroz y habichuelas), a bottle of sofrito and some token greens to appease the tourists
A typical Puerto Rican meal: pork chops (chuletas), rice & beans (arroz y habichuelas), a bottle of sofrito and some token greens to appease the tourists
Authentic Puerto Rican food (comida criolla) can be summed up in two words: plantains and pork, usually served up with rice and beans (arroz y habichuelas). It is rarely if ever spicy, and to many visitors' surprise has very little in common with Mexican cooking. Plantains (plátanos) are essentially savory bananas and the primary source of starch back in the bad old days, although you will occasionally also encounter cassava (yuca) and other tropical tubers. Served with nearly every meal, incarnations include:
  • mofongo - plantains mashed, fried, and mashed again, when filled up (relleno) with seafood this is probably the best-known Puerto Rican dish of them all
  • tostones - twice deep-fried plantain chips, best when freshly made
  • sopa de plátanos - mashed plantain soup
  • The main meat eaten on Puerto Rico is pork (cerdo), with chicken a close second and beef and mutton way down the list. Seafood, surprisingly, is only a minor part of the traditional repertoire: the deep waters around Puerto Rico are poorly suited to fishing, and most of the seafood served in restaurants for tourists is in fact imported. Still, fresh local fish can be found in restaurants across the east and west coast of the island, especially in Naguabo or Cabo Rojo respectively.
  • chicharrones - crispy dry pork rinds, Puerto Rico's favorite snack
  • chuletas - huge, juicy pork chops, available grilled or deep fried.
  • lechón asado - roast suckling pig, this is the pinnacle of Puerto Rican porkcraft. Served at specialty restaurants, with the town of Guavate off the San Juan-Ponce highway being particularly famous.
  • morcilla - blood sausage
  • pernil de cerdo - pork shoulder with oregano and garlic
  • A few other puertorriqueño classics include:
  • arroz con gandules - rice with pigeon peas, the unofficial national dish of Puerto Rico
  • arroz con jueyes - rice with land crab meat
  • asopao - a spicy tomato stew with rice and chicken or seafood
  • bacalaitos ? salted cod fritters
  • chillo - red snapper, the most common fresh fish on the island
  • empanadillas ? fritters of cheese, meat or lobster
  • sofrito - a fragrant sauce of sweet pepper, herbs, garlic and oil, used as base and seasoning for many dishes
  • quenepas - a green grape-like fruit common in summer, don't eat the skin or seeds (and watch where you put them, they stain clothes easily)

  • The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Puerto Rico

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    Puerto Rico Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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