I find myself wanting to cook Puerto Rican food as one of my main goals in life. When cooking Latin dishes in my family, the recipes are very traditional and passed down from mother to daughter. I always enjoy my mom’s home cooked meals such as rice and beans, blood sausage, roast pork and fried plantains. When I go to Puerto Rico on vacation, I make sure I go to places that serve the best traditional dishes. Unfortunately, my sister is now a vegetarian and when it comes to Puerto Rican food we love to eat meat, so I feel it is up to me to continue the tradition that was passed down to my mom.
What I love about Latino cooking is that there is so much culture, history and diversity behind it. Every Latin American country has their own style of Latino dishes that greatly differ from other Latino countries, for example, Puerto Rican dishes are a mixture of Iberian, Taino (Ameri-Indian) and African origins. Mexican food differs from Puerto Rican as Puerto Rican food differs from Salvadoran food. The one common thing that goes behind cooking these wonderful Latino dishes is the warmth and comradery of friends and family coming together. I remember when I visited Puerto Rico for Christmas one time I was invited to a family member’s Christmas dinner. In Puerto Rican Christmas tradition, a pig is slowly roasted on a spit for about 8 hours and then it is served with other Puerto Rican dishes such as rice and beans, turkey, plantains just to name a few. I remember tasting the pernil (the roast pork) and I was in heaven, the meat was so tender and the skin, which is the best part was crispy. What I enjoyed most about the get together is that I was able to meet with family members that I haven’t seen in years and others I have never met at all. This encourages me to continue the traditional cooking of Puerto Rican food and I hope to pass it down to my son or daughter.
Whether you are Hispanic or not, anybody can successfully cook Latino style dishes from the comfort of their own home. There are so many books out there that will teach Latino dishes from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, just go with your preference. I myself enjoying a recipe book by Latin chef Daisy Martinez called Daisy Cooks! To me, she is a great chef to follow because cooks a variety of Latino dishes, particularly Puerto Rican. She does have her own website called Daisy Cooks! where it offers information on some of her recipes, products, and schedules of her TV show ( you have to check your local listings)
Below is the cover of her book and a video that I happened to find on Youtube. It is not from her show but it shows her cooking style, her great personality and teaching style. Buen Provecho!
Youtube video of Daisy Martinez cooking.
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