Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sabbath = Good Eats: Borinquen Style!

The one good thing about having Puerto Rican cousins, aunts and uncles is that you can visit Puerto Rico and practically stay for free. Moreover, all the hole-in-the-wall food joints that are on their maps wind up on your map as well. Therefore, all you have to do is tag along to taste the entire island.

We went to a wedding in El Yunque, that's the rain-forest; then to a reception at a cousin's cousin's house in Carolina and had amazing paella. Next, we spent Tuesday night in Ponce (which is a 2 hour drive through the mountains from San Juan) and woke up to great cafe con leche and wonderful breads. Then, on the drive back from Ponce, we stopped at this little roadside joint (and I mean joint) in Caguas where we had succulent pig (lechon) and great arroz habichuelas (that's rice and beans), yuca (that's a starchy root vegetable like a potato) and different PR sausages.

Right down the street from the place we were staying on the last two nights (in order to escape my crazy family) was a wonderful little sandwich place that had great cafe, an array of Cubano sandwiches and fresh squeezed china (that's PR for orange juice). (Orange juice got the name "china" in the early part of the twentieth century when the crates used to pack the oranges bound for the USA were branded: MADE IN CHINA.)

Enough about food: I think the single most exciting moment for me was going with my PR cousins and uncles to the cock fights (and losing $60). What a bizarre experience!

[The photo above is of my daughter Hannah and me.]

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