Christmas in Puerto Rico II
I enjoyed reading gpico’s entry “Parrandón” from 11-23-99 which brought to mind a certain observation. The “morcillas” he refers to are a type of blood sausage which is quite popular in Puerto Rico (“butifarra” and “longaniza” are other popular sausages, the latter often eaten ground in a mixture of yellow rice).
In the name of accuracy, I must make a few revisions to my previous entry “Christmas in Puerto Rico” from 11-05-99. One of the ingredients in the “pasteles” I profiled is NOT yucca (sorry, I provided a faulty translation to the Spanish word “yuca”). I meant to say cassava which is a potato-like vegetable grown in the Caribbean. In addition to rice or cassava, I believe mashed plantain may also be used in preparing pasteles. The choice of meats in these pies may include ground beef and/or shredded pork, while some may add green olives in the ingredients. As regards our eggnog-like “coquito”, there is no single recipe for it as several abound out there. The most basic coquito recipe I have found consists of cream of coconut, evaporated milk, white rum, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Other recipes may call for condensed milk and raw eggs as well.
Although Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, Spanish is the dominant language. Therefore, the main Christmas greetings would be “Feliz Navidad”, “Felices Pascuas”, or “Felicidades”.