One of the great joys of living in Puerto Rico is the cuisine. The word mondongo must mean something like tripe, but there is also the word tripa with the same meaning. Puerto Ricans have told me that the word is of African origin. It is a kind of stew made with tripe and I thought the exclusive property of Puerto Rico. While looking for information on the web, I found that the stew can be found all over the New World where either Spanish or Portuguese is spoken.


Puerto Rican Mondongo has all the flavors of the island blended into one pot. I can't tell you how to cook it, but I can pretty much guess what's in it:
  • honeycomb tripe cut into small pieces
  • achiote oil = small red seeds ( = Eng. annato) fried in lard to give the oil a red/orange color; the Indians on the the Island used to use it to color their skins; nowadays the seeds are fried in plenty of oil to lend color and then thrown out
  • recaito = a concoction of seasonings where ajo (= Eng. garlic), cilantro (= Eng. coriander leaves), green pepper and olive oil figure prominently
  • yautia (= Eng. taro, a kind of root)
  • yuca (= Eng. cassava, another root)
  • calabaza (= Eng. West Indian pumpkin)
  • pl├ítanos (= Eng. plantains), green
  • alcaparrado (=Eng. capers, I think)
  • smoked ham

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