Let's talk about Puerto Rican food.
Why Puerto Rican food? Because Monique asked me: Have you ever had Puerto Rican food?
I was in Puerto Rico once for my honeymoon back in 1994. We had a few days to explore the island before we picked up a cruise. Surely, at some point in those few days, I tried Puerto Rican food. At least, I hope I did. But I don't know.
I did an Internet search for Puerto Rican restaurants in my area in the off-chance that I'd eaten at one and not realized that it was specifically Puerto Rican. Looking at the results, the answer is probably no. They seem to be clustered on West Division Street in the Humbolt Park area of Chicago. Not one of my usual haunts.
Truthfully, I'm not even sure what defines Puerto Rican food.
Here's how Welcome to Puerto Rico defines it:
Although Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to both Spanish and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee. Locals call their cuisine "cocina criolla".That description looks tasty to me.
So, anyone recommend a Puerto Rican restaurant in the Chicago area, preferably in the northwest or far west suburbs? Or maybe near O'Hare Airport? I'm willing to trek into the city, but that takes more planning and organization, so it will probably take much longer to happen.
And if I do make this journey, any specific foods I should try?
I suspect that possibly only Monique can answer these questions for me, but I hope there are others with this information too.
Anyone else out there ever tried Puerto Rican food? What did you think?