By Gabriela Gomez


In my search for a border inside metro Phoenix I did not have to go farther than my friend Jessica’s kitchen. She is from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I have brought two traditional cooking utensils she uses to make tasty Puerto Rican dishes.

First, I will take a look at a “tostonera”, which is this item that looks like a little paddle. This traditional Puerto Rican cooking utensil is used for making tostones. They are made with plantains; first you peel the plantain, cut 1 ˝ pieces, smash them with the tostonera, then put in a deep fryer until they are a little crispy. This is a popular side dish in Puerto Rico. Think of them as French fries to Americans

Another cooking utensil is a “pilon” which is used primarily to mash garlic.  This can also be used to make “mofongo” a typical Puerto Rican dish. “Mofongo” also requires plantains. The plantains are cooked with chicken broth, garlic, olive oil, bacon, and pork rinds all these items are placed inside the “pilon”. These ingredients will become hardened inside and create a shell. After that shell is created it can be filled with any of the following shrimp, crab, lobster, or anything you like.

Now that you are aware of these dishes maybe you will try one. Thanks to my friend Jessica for her help. 



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