The name of the country and foods and/or beverages commonly consumed
The chosen region for the cultural food project is Puerto Rico. The area is found in the northeastern Caribbean; it is a commonwealth member and is part of the United States (USA). The table below indicates the typical Puerto Rican dishes;
|Food/Beverage||Description||Food Group category on the MyPlate|
|Arroz con pollo||Chicken with rice||Protein|
|Pastelón de carne||Meat pie||Poultry|
|Cerveza and Rum||Alcoholic drinks||–|
|Puerto Rican coffee||–|
A method of cooking commonly used
Puerto Ricans have no particular method for cooking food. They mainly use traditional ways that are straightforward. Spanish culture’s conventional cooking methods include roasting, broiling, stewing, baking, and grilling. However, Puerto Ricans characteristically use adobo and sofrito in food preparation. According to (Raposo), adobo is simply a marinade or rub, typically with garlic and lime juice or vinegar used to season meat and poultry. Sofrito is a blend of ingredients – usually onions, garlic, peppers, sweet chilies, oregano, cilantro, and some ham – to start and flavor a dish.
A special occasion where food is consumed and foods that are consumed during this occasion
Puerto Rican culture involves several festivities, such as parties and picnics. During the festivals, they prefer to prepare a favored island dish called lechón Asado – barbecued pig. The pig is moistened with jugo de naranjas agría – sour orange juice and achiote for food color (Puerto Rican Cuisine). Then, green plantains are skinned and cooked over hot stones, then served alongside the barbecued pig as a side dish. The traditional dressing served with the pig is ali-li-monjili, a sour garlic sauce (Raposo). The sauce combines whole black peppercorns, garlic, and sweet seeded chile peppers, seasoned with lime juice, vinegar, and olive oil.
The meal patterns and eating customs/habits of the people
Puerto Ricans typically consume three meals per day. Meals are consumer in the morning (breakfast), at noon (lunch), and in the evening (dinner). Most people mainly consume food in the form of lunch and dinner. Stews are common in Puerto Rico, such as, carne guisada puertorriqueña – Puerto Rican beef stew. Other everyday dishes include sesos empanadas – breaded calfs brains; Arroz con pollo – chicken with rice; and carne frita con cebolla – fried beefsteak with onions (Puerto Rico: Recipes and Cuisine). The meals are usually prepared with lovely spices and appetizers, such as empanadillas, crescent-shaped turnovers; surullitos, sweet plump cornmeal fingers; and bacalaitos, crunchy cod fritters (Raposo). The meals are also accompanied by soups, such as sopón de Pollo con Arroz – chicken soup with rice; and frijoles negros – black-bean soup.
A health benefit and a health problem that may result due to the types of foods and beverages
Puerto Ricans mainly consume protein foods comprised of stew (beef), poultry (chicken), beans, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Protein foods provide energy to the body by building stronger bones and muscles. Puerto Ricans also consume various vegetables that provide fiber and vital nutrients to the body, essential in maintaining appropriate blood pressure (Raposo). However, they also consume many alcoholic drinks, especially rum and beer, that can cause heart problems and malnutrition.
How the region is following the MyPlate or Dietary Guidelines
The dietary guidelines applied in Puerto Rico are based on the dietary guidelines developed by the U.S. government. The Puerto Ricans simply adapt the guidelines, such as the Myplate, which are translated into the local language for the wider population to read and understand. Therefore, their eating habits are based mainly on the recommendations outlined in MyPlate and other Dietary Guidelines developed for the American people.
Raposo, Jackeline. “A Primer on Puerto Rican Dishes: The Cuisine to Try More than Ever Right Now.” Ezcater. 2021. Web.
“Puerto Rican Cuisine.” Topuertorico. Web.
“Puerto Rico: Recipes and Cuisine.” Whats4eats. 2018. Web.