Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Foods of Puerto Rico - Part 1

We visited Puerto Rico in summer 2013, for two weeks. Had a blast! Even the kiddos are still talking about it, begging us to take them back, mostly for the food :)

Puerto Rico cuisine is a unique mixed taste of Spanish, African and Taino (the original of the inhabitants of the island). Locals call it "cocina criolla"; or creole cooking.

Popular foods, include:
- mofongo (fried and mashed plantains, mixed with seafood or meat);
- lechon (succulent roasted suckling pig);
- arroz con gandules (Pigeon beans and rice cooked with sofrito sauce); and
- fried snacks such as empanadas, pinchos (skewered meat); alcapurrias (fried turnover), bunuelos (yam fritters) and my favorite: bacalaitos (cod-fish fritters).

Here are some pictures of the local cuisines that we've tried.

Our first stop off the airport. It's not too far from our hotel. La Parilla Restaurant at Luquillo beach, offers local cuisines. It has a nice set up, right on the beach, clean and friendly staff. Food here is so GOOD and I gotta say that we order more than our capacity to eat :)

Tostones Rellenos de Langosta, Jueyes o Dorado (Fried plaintain cups filled with lobster, crab and mahi mahi) - La Parilla Restaurant, Luquillo Beach

Queso Frito (fried Puertorican cheese) - La Parilla Restaurant, Luquillo Beach

Left: Mofongo Relleno de Marisco (Mofongo stuffed with seafood in creole sauce)
Right Top: Ensalada de Carucho (Conch salad)
Right Bottom: Filette de Mero Pasa Relleno de Camarones (Grouper stuffed with shrimp with parmesan fondue glaze)
-La Parilla Restaurant, Luquillo Beach- 

El Verde BBQ at PR-3, Km 24.7, Rio Grande. 
Awesome BBQ place at a very affordable price.

BBQ Garlic Chicken
-El Verde, PR-3, Km 24.7, Rio Grande-

BBQ Pork
-El Verde, PR-3, Km 24.7, Rio Grande-

Blood Sausage & Sweet Plantains
-El Verde, PR-3, Km 24.7, Rio Grande- 

Fried Pork with Rice & Bean
-El Verde, PR-3, Km 24.7, Rio Grande- 

 Bacalaitos (Cod Fritters).
Very tasty snack!  They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. 
Made out of chopped salt cod then deep-fried. 

Majorcas - Soft Puerto Rican sweet bread. A perfect pair for the Puerto Rican espresso. A lady that sat next to me at the cafe where I bought my Majorcas said I should keep the bread for the following day and turn it into a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. As much as I wanted to try, I bit my lips. The hotel, where we stayed, had no kitchen .. *sigh*

We found this road-side stall, on the way to El Yungue. It's called La Mularra. If you are looking for authentic local food, this is definitely the place. They sell fried food and pinchos (skewered meat). Ask for more of the garlic sauce while the chicken is on the grill. Two thumbs up! Just don't expect a fancy dinner/lunch at this place :)

King's Cream Helados, Plaza Las Delicias, Ponce.
Homemade ice cream with a little Carribean twist, like tamarind flavor and soursop (guanabana) flavor. When we arrived, the line was long, but the service was fast and also, great price.

We tried pineapple, tamarind, strawberry and mango. Love 'em all! Downside: the ice cream melted super fast. I blamed it on the weather. I would love to try them on cones next time.

.... to be continued to Part 2

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