Puerto Rican Eats..
One of the things I wanted to check out was foods unique to PR. Admittedly, being in San Juan is not the way to do it. So to that end, I offer the following.
Caribas brand chips are made from produce popular to the Caribbean basin. They were wedged into the potato and corn chip aisle. They were new to me. The 3 I tried were made from Yuca, green Plantains and yellow Plantains. Yuka chips– the text on the bag was entirely in Spanish, but the illustration is of a large root sliced thin and fried like potato chips They do have the texture of a potato chip, but with their own unique flavor. They remind me of thick, salted kettle chips. I liked them. The yellow Plantain Maduros chips were very crunchy and slightly sweet, hence their caramel color. I liked them too. The Platanutres chips were crunchy like the Yellow Plantain chips, but were salty. They were a little bland, but they were still good. All 3 said 100% natural, “From the Earth to Your Hand” on the bags. BUT, there are 350 calories per 2.5 ounce bag. Furthermore, if you look closer at the bag, they are made by Frito-Lay in the Dominican Republic using palm oil. Oh well.
Fast Food the Caribbean way:
Pollo Tropical is my new favorite place to eat. As mentioned earlier, I’m not really into fast-food, but this place is an exception.
Think of it as an up-scale Taco Bell, but with a Caribbean twist.
They feature several hearty main dishes including fried chicken, and grilled beef, an assortment of appetizers, several side dishes including rice and beens and several kinds of deserts. Something for everyone, all at reasonable prices. Some dishes will be familiar, some not. I plan to eventually try a little of everything. They also feature a daily special. I’ve had the chicken fajita, the rice and beens and the chicken strips to date. It was all real good! Pollo Tropical is a franchise, on a par with other fast-food outlets. Service was fast and the restrooms were clean. Much of their menu has been formally certified as being healthy for you… I’m not surprised.
Finger Food, Puerto Rican Style:
Surullitos or Sorullitos appetizers are made from shaped/pressed corn meal and fried. They are slightly sweet and crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. The filled version, Con Queso or Con Carne Surullitos can contain a little bit of cheese, or some kind of meat.. chicken, pork or maybe crab. These are very popular with the locals. I’ve tried a couple versions of them. Make sure you let then cool off a little before taking a bite. Great with a cold beer.
A Delicate Desert:
Lechosa con Queso is a wonderful desert made from candied Papaya in a light syrup topped with a few slices of Queso Blanco (white cheese). The cheese is dense and slightly grainy, with a hearty flavor. It complements the Papaya quite nicely. The perfect finish to a good meal. It was delicious!
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