Food Puerto Rico:
Food of Puerto Rican
island nation of Puerto Rico is officially a territory of the United States. Puerto
Rican cuisine has evolved from several strong influences, including the original
people, the Tainos, and the Spanish who drove most of the natives out and enslaved
whoever was left. African and overall Caribbean influence is also reflected in
the cuisine of the island, which has been shaped significantly by its climate
criolla, one of the main cuisine styles particular to the island, enjoys deep
roots, extending far back to the native Tainos and Arawaks. Their culinary traditions
were based on tropical fruits, native vegetables, seafood, and corn. With the
Spanish came a host of other ingredients that expanded the criolla style. These
included olive oil, rice, wheat, and meats, such as pork and beef. As enslaved
African people were imported for the sugar cane plantations, their culinary traditions
took root as well, and their contributions, which included taro and okra, became
assimilated into the whole of criolla cuisine.
of the island's main dishes are seasoned with adobo and sofrito. These are spice
mixtures that impart the flavors the island is so well known for. Adobo, which
can vary from cook to cook, or from manufacturer to manufacturer, generally consists
of black peppercorns, oregano, salt, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice. When bought
prepared in powdered form, most include salt, powdered garlic, citric acid, pepper,
oregano, turmeric, and MSG, which is a good reason to make your own. While
generally used for seasoning meats, it is considered a sort of all-purpose seasoning
is made from onions, garlic, cilantro, peppers, and it often includes achiote,
which is from the seeds of the annatoo plant. This seasoning helps to produce
a bright yellow color in the finished product. This, too, is used in a variety
of dishes, ranging from meat dishes to soups to beans and rice.
pot dishes, or stews, are common to Puerto Rican cuisine. These are often made
of meats and flavored with a variety of spices and ingredients in addition to
adobo and sofrito. Among the extras are Spanish olives stuffed with pimiento,
sweet chili peppers, capers, potatoes, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro, and occasionally
with rice is a dish that has become a Puerto Rican specialty, with many families
having their own recipe, handed down from generation to generation. Chicken is
a main ingredient of many criolla dishes, and while these meals enjoy a host of
seasonings, they are rarely what could be termed hotly spiced.
seafood plays an important part of the island cuisine. Fried fish is often served
with a special sauce made of olives, olive oil, onions, pimientos, capers, tomato
sauce, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. Broiled, steamed or grilled fish is lightly
seasoned, sometimes not seasoned at all, during the cooking process and served
with a splash of lime juice with just a hint of garlic.
Rican cuisine has many facets that have arisen from the island's long, complex
history. The blend of native culinary traditions with those of the European tyrants
and the enslaved African populations that they brought with them has resulted
in a unique and flavorful cuisine that is beloved by many.
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