Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Puerto Rico

Drinking basil lemonade (!) in a pescatarian restaurant called Verde Mesa in Old San Juan

It's been nearly two-week hiatus from this blog because I was travelling in Puerto Rico with my partner, Julie! We had a really wonderful time. We stayed in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, for most of the time. It's a great travel destination because it has both cultural and outdoors things to do, as well as being affordable. We saw old Spanish forts, walked through rainforests, visited museums, swam at beautiful beaches, and met kind people. Most importantly, at least in the context of this blog, we ate delicious food and drank delicious drinks. I think you would have to be doing something very wrong if you went to Puerto Rico and didn't eat delicious food.

Traditional Puerto Rican cuisine involves ingredients like rice and beans, plantains, fish, pork, yucca, bread fruit, and bananas. We had many excellent meals which involved one or more of those elements. One excellent dish we tried, called mofongo, is unique to Puerto Rico. Mofongo is made by frying green plantain and then mashing it with a wooden mortar and pestle with garlic, broth, salt, and other ingredients. The mash, which is like thick mashed potatoes in consistency, is then shaped into a ball or bowl, and then optionally a meat or vegetable stew can be poured over the mofongo.

Wikipedia has an informative article about the traditional Puerto Rican dish, mofongo.

This post is basically a reminder to myself that I'd like to try making my own vegan mofongo in the near future. If you'd like to try making your own mofongo, here are a few recipes that might work. Vegetable broth should be fine as a substitute for meat broth.

-This recipe has pork, but it seems like it could easily be omitted.
-This recipe explains that Dominicans also enjoy mofongo.
-A step-by-step guide with photos.

If you want to serve your mofongo with stew, here are some vegetarian Caribbean stew recipes, none of which I've tried.

-Puerto Rican stewed beans
 -Vegetarian sancocho (root vegetable stew, usually includes beef or chicken)
-Dominican stewed cabbage
-Puerto Rican-inspired stewed stewed tofu

Please let me know if you try any of these and how it turned out!

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