Xmas season in Puerto Rico is very special… I do enjoy the snow and the caroling as I have spent several Xmases in either NYC or Miami, but Xmas season is different here. This is what’s normal and typical for me: Sunny days to enjoy it at the beach with some cooler breezes, houses decorated with multi-colored Xmas lights, a festive ambiance all over, typical “parranda” music, parties of all sorts to celebrate the season and to welcome the new year approaching. The cold weather is only felt when you go to the mountains in the center of the Island…
Logo of ‘Parranda’ app for iPhone and iPod touch. Learn how to turn any party into a Puerto Rican parranda from your phone by visiting www.parrandapr.com.
And a great part of what makes a Puerto Rican Xmas special is the typical menu. The Puerto Rican typical menu is not fully vegetarian… but if we just omit certain ingredients that are not essential in the basic traditional recipes, they can certainly be enjoyed by everyone. The essence of the Puerto Rican menu is certainly present in this spread here:
I know this may sound out of season… my former college roomate told me potato salads are a summer salad, not for the holidays, but here in Puerto Rico, arroz con gandules and potato salad are a key part of the holidays. Even if someone serves the combination at some point in the year, the comment is that you’re eating holiday food.
Arroz con Dulce – Sweet Rice
OK… I’ll come clean here. Some of the recipes I have already shared with you, but I’ll share with you other new recipes I have made before at some point but, they’re not mine. Hey, I may not even master them fully. But I feel confident you’ll be able to follow them and execute them successfully. Here’s the thing… I am too young still to be THE ONE making the bulk of the Xmas cooking. These dishes are always made for family gatherings or activities at the yoga center by the “grown-ups”. I have just helped make them many, many times, but I have never done these recipes all by myself. So please accept my apologetic disclaimer…. And enjoy a Puerto Rican vegetarian Xmas…