As we head home to Vermont (with, as my uncle put it, “intestines in our intestines”…blech!) after our unique culinary tour and visit to my mother’s isla bonita, I wonder: would I eat any of these foods again? I have to be honest, it’s doubtful. However, I leave proud of having tried these dishes that I rejected out of hand all these years.
The question of where my Puerto Rican half begins and the gringa part ends is something I will always struggle with - and my omnivorous tour only reinforced my otherness. The experience of tracking these foods down funky side streets, and of using my rusty Spanish to talk to people who were impressed with this pale-skinned Latina’s willingness to eat the least touristy of their dishes, was invaluable.
For me, that is what the island is all about: the richness of its food, the warmth of its people, and its ability to bring me closer to my mother. However, Mamí, forgive me, but the next time we come down, I think I’ll stick to the arroz con pollo.
#276 Calle Fernandez García, Luquillo
Open for lunch and dinner - $$
Lechonera El Mojito
Carretera 184, Cayey
Open for lunch and dinner - $