Puerto Rico

International foods project

Herbs and spices

Cooking styles from these diverse influences have resulted in unique "cocina criolla" based on a thick sauce called "sofrito," a sauteed combination of vegetables, spices, herbs and tomato sauce.

Contemporary Puerto Rican cuisine is a product of its diverse historical influences. One of the herbs that is particularly unique to the island is oregano brujo, which is used both dry and fresh. Oregano brujo grows wild on the island and has a distinctive pungent aroma. Oregano brujo, used dried as a meat rub or seasoning, is a key ingredient in the spice combination called adobo seco. The other ingredients in adobo seco are salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Adobo mojado is a "wet" version often used as a marinade, made with fresh garlic, onions and citrus juice. Other uniquely Puerto Rican flavors are Ajilimojili sauce, which is a hot garlic salsa, Alcaparrado, a mix of native peppers, green olives and capers, and Annatto Oil, olive oil infused with annatto and hot peppers. The hot peppers that grow on the island are used to create a variety of hot sauces, often used for dipping fried root vegetables or plantains, called pique verde boricua, pique criollo and picadillo a la puertorriquena.

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