Puerto Rican Cuisine

Puerto Rican Cuisine
Puerto Rico is​ an​ island nation that is​ officially a​ territory of​ the​ United States .​
Puerto Rican cuisine has evolved from several strong influences, including those of​ the​ original peoples, such as​ the​ Tainos, and​ the​ Spanish conquerors that drove most of​ the​ natives out and​ enslaved the​ remaining .​
African and​ Caribbean influence is​ also reflected in​ the​ cuisine of​ the​ island, which has also been shaped significantly by its climate and​ geology.
Cocina criolla, one of​ the​ main cuisine styles particular to​ the​ island has deep roots, extending far back to​ the​ native Tainos and​ Arawaks .​
Their culinary traditions were based 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 peoples were imported for​ work on 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.
Many of​ the​ island’s main dishes are seasoned with adobo and​ sofrito, spice mixtures that impart those flavors that the​ island is​ so well known for​ .​
Adobo, which can vary from cook to​ cook, or​ if​ bought prepared, 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​ spend a​ little time making your own if​ experimenting with Puerto Rican cuisine at​ home .​
While generally used for​ seasoning meats, it​ is​ considered to​ be a​ sort of​ all-purpose seasoning mixture.
Sofrito is​ made from onions, garlic, cilantro, peppers, and​ often includes achiote, which is​ from the​ seeds of​ the​ annatoo plant, and​ 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​ standard forms of​ beans and​ rice.
One 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 these are Spanish olives stuffed with pimiento, sweet chili peppers, capers, potatoes, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro, and​ occasionally raisins.
Chicken with rice is​ a​ dish that has become a​ Puerto Rican specialty, with many families having their own special style, handed down from generation to​ generation .​
Chicken is​ a​ main ingredient of​ many criolla dishes, and​ these dishes, while careful attention is​ given to​ spicing techniques, rarely are they what could be termed hotly spiced.
Naturally, seafood is​ 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, if​ at​ all, during the​ cooking process and​ served with a​ splash of​ lime juice with perhaps just a​ hint of​ garlic.
Puerto Rican cuisine has many facets, arising from the​ island’s long, complex history .​
The blend of​ native culinary traditions with those of​ the​ European settlers and​ the​ enslaved African populations that they brought with them has resulted in​ a​ unique and​ flavorful cuisine that is​ beloved by many.
Puerto Rican Cuisine Puerto Rican Cuisine Reviewed by Henda Yesti on February 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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