People who enjoy highlighting all of their senses might want to circle Puerto Rico as a must-see on their travel maps. While it might not get the same hype as culinary giants like Italy or France, this proud island nation is still worth every penny. If you do decide to visit, it recommended to purchase travel insurance to protect your trip investment.
Puerto Rican flavors
Centuries of colonialism, native cooking techniques and influences from Europe, Taino Indians, Africa and Latin America have all merged together to create a treat for your taste buds that you won't find anywhere else on earth. And luckily, you won't have to travel too far to get there – Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory for decades (yes, this means that you don't have to update your passport) and is a short flight from many Gulf Coast airports. And, according to the Washington Post, now is as good a time as any to go visit.
"Puerto Rican kids started to look at cooking as a profession in the 1990s," Giovanna Huyke, an author of two books on Puerto Rican cuisine and the executive chef of Mio in Washington, D.C., explained to the source. "We have more professional chefs now who embrace and are proud of our culture and our history of food."
It seems that now the island is becoming known for a plethora of exotic dishes. One of the local favorites is sofrito, a spicy mix of onions, cubanella, sweet chile peppers, a local variety of cilantro, garlic and several native fruits like yuca, malanga and batatas. Sweet, decadent fried plantains are also in abundance in Puerto Rico and are served generously alongside both sweet and savory dishes.
The farm-to-table movement in Puerto Rico
Like many other nations in North America and Latin America, Puerto Rico is still emerging from the gloom of the Great Recession and looking for ways to promote tourism in the country – and the farm-to-table movement is definitely part of it, especially in Old San Juan. Here, you can even take a Flavors of San Juan food and culture tour, complete with home-grown restaurants and single-origin coffee.
If you're a foodie on a budget, love original flavors or have a serious addiction to coffee, it doesn't get much better than Puerto Rico. Just be sure to protect your vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance before you taste your way around this beautiful island nation.
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