Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eating Locally: Puerto-Rican Style

Tomorrow I leave for Puerto Rico (PR). I have mixed feelings about going to PR. On the one hand, I look forward to visiting my family whom I haven't seen in two years. On the other hand, I'm confronted with two challenges: speaking Spanish with an American accent and finding local foods to eat. Talk about a Crunchy Challenge, Puerto-Rican Style!

All kidding aside, I'm actually quite optimistic about eating local foods in Puerto Rico. My grandmother Celia has chickens in her backyard (mmm...she makes the best egg sandwiches) and several trees that yield mangoes, avocados, and limes. There's also vendors on just about every street corner who sell quenepa (a fruit I've only had in PR), coconuts, papas rellenos, and other tasty treats. Really, the more I think about eating locally-produced, Puerto-Rican food, the more upbeat I am about meeting this Crunchy Challenge. If only I didn't sound like a gringa when I speak Spanish!!


Don Luis said...

I can tell you from experience that you need not worry about either of your concerns.

Sounding like a gringa will not be a problem. I've been here for three years now, and speak almost no Spanish. For a 6'2" bearded gringo, I'm treated remarkably well. People go out of their way to be helpful.

As for local food, that's easy. Most of our food is local, from the beef, pork, and chicken to the root vegetables and citrus. I buy local whenever I can to support the local economy. My apples, however, still come from Washington state.

Plastic bags are an issue that may disappoint you. I haven't seen a paper bag since I've been here. We reuse our plastic bags when we change the kitty litter.

Michelle Verges said...

Don Luis,

Thank you SO much for your encouraging words!! I'm really looking forward to this trip. And thanks for reminding me to pack my own reusable bags. It's much appreciated!!


Experimentaholic said...

Have fun in Puerto Rico, Senorita Verges! Have an empanata for me!

Meghan said...

My mom was born in Puerto Rico, but I've never been. I expect a full report!