In case you missed it, Puerto Rico is back. Despite the devastation that left much of the island destroyed and without power, the island’s rich culture, pride, and especially its cuisine have persevered, and with classic Boriqua character and strength. While the island’s breathtaking beaches and vibrant culture are an obvious reason to visit, so is its local cuisine. Stop by any authentic cafe nearby during your stay, and we guarantee you’ll be able to try some of these island delicacies. Read on for a crash-course on the most delicious food Puerto Rico has to offer!
An island favorite, we guarantee it will become one of yours, too. Tostones, a fried delicacy, made of thin sliced plantains which are coated and fried. You’ll usually find these served up as an appetizer, and while it may be tempting, be sure not to fill up on these, or you’ll surely spoil the rest of your appetite with this savory dish. Pro tip: these pair well with virtually everything, so spice up your tostones with mayonnaise or even some fresh octopus!
Arroz con Gandules
Arroz con gandules, AKA Puerto Rico’s national dish, is an essential food to try while exploring the island. So what’s in it? Think white rice mixed with pigeon peas, some tomato sauce and seasoning, olives and sofrito. For those of you unsure of what sofrito is, just know that it is the cornerstone of the dish which gives the rice its signature flavor. Craving some protein? Locals will sometimes throw in some pork into the mix! Arroz con gandules is the quintessential Puerto Rican dish, one cherished across the island. You’d be remiss to skip out on it!
Equally popular and beloved, mofongo is another Puerto Rican staple. Plantains are a big deal in these parts, so it should come as no surprise that mofongo is yet another dish with plantains at its core. Mofongo is made up of mashed green plantains, seasoned and then stuffed with any host of ingredients from chicken to beef or vegetables. For the ultimate meal of Puerto Rican classics, pair your mofongo with some arroz con gandules!
Every country has their special holiday season classics, and in Puerto Rico, one of those classics is pasteles. Made of green plantains (we hoped you assumed as much!), pasteles are a meat filled dish, stuffed with a variety of meat but most typically, pork. Enjoy your pasteles year round, or if you’re in town for the holidays, at a traditional Puerto Rican christmas dinner!
Another holiday favorite, coquito is the Puerto Rican Christmas cocktail of choice. A mixture of evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, vanilla, and most importantly, rum, you can consider coquito the Puerto Rican version of eggnog. It’s texture is milky, and makes for the perfect nightcap cocktail during the holiday season. If you’re lucky enough, enjoy one made by a Puerto Rican abuela native to the island – it doesn’t get much better than that!