One of the most important parts of every culture is the food. Puerto Rican gastronomy is a mixture of Spanish, African, and Taíno (native Indians) influences. All plates are filled with rich flavors and mouthwatering aromas. This is mainly because of the spices, such as “achiote” a red orange powder with a tangy flavor, and of the condiments for marinating, such as “sofrito”.
The most common Puerto Rican food is rice and beans. When you are born and raised in Puerto Rico, you know it pairs well with EVERYTHING. There are a few ways this dish can be served: rice with black, red, pink, or white beans on top; rice mixed with red beans or “mamposteao”; rice mized with black beans or “congris”; and rice mixed with “gandules” which is a different type of bean. Rice and beans is mostly a side dish for the protein, but in many cases the protein is mixed in the rice and beans to make it one meal. By this I mean, dishes where the protein, and rice are cooked together in the same pot. These dishes are “arroz con salchichas”, “arroz con pollo”, and more. These are my personal favorites.
For Puerto Ricans, fried is better. There are a numerous variety of fried foods. The popular ones are deep fried finger food that are usually made up of meat, fish, cheese, or vegetables covered in dough. These are called “pastelillos” which can be filled with whatever you want, “alcapurrias”, and “arepas”.
The most renowned meal is called “mofongo”. “Mofongo” is fried plantain smashed together in the form of a cup filled with whatever meat or seafood the customer wants. Obviously, it is served with rice and beans to accompany it perfectly.
Desserts are also very delicious. There is “tres leches” which is a moist, sweet cake. Another one is called “flan” and it can be made of cheese, almond, coconut, or vanilla. My favorite dessert is “flan de queso” (the cheese one).
“Flan de queso”