If there’s one thing Puerto Rico’s restaurants do well it’s creating and serving on-trend dishes. Following last year’s hurricanes, more than 10,000 hospitality jobs were lost on the island. In the aftermath of the disaster, just 7% of local food and drink venues permanently shut down and this prompted the rest of Puerto Rico’s food businesses to come back fighting. And, as a result of their efforts, local restaurants have made the following food trends come out on top.
A love for plantains
Puerto Ricans adore plantains and the latest dishes being served across the island continue to utilize this much-loved ingredient. Mofongo is a staple on most menus across Puerto Rico. However, the traditional dish is being mixed up in order to entice customers in and to create something special. Chef, Jose Ortiz, uses lobster tail to crown his mofongo. Meanwhile, he also uses the vegetable to perfume the rice to give it a unique taste. Ryan Hibbert, the CEO of Riot Hospitality Group and owner of the Whiskey Row chain states that “In the hospitality industry you have to differentiate yourself with the environments you create, and the quality of product you serve.” And this is exactly what Ortiz has done by serving traditional Puerto Rican recipes with a twist.
Fish is in
In the last month, meat products have been recalled twice due to a risk of them containing pieces of metal. Therefore, restaurants are rushing to provide alternatives to their customers. Red snapper served with a crispy skin rich flavors, tender grilled octopus and Caribbean shrimp served in a coconut crust are just some of the local fresh fish dishes you’ll find being served in local restaurants to individuals who are currently shunning meat in wake of the scandal.
Despite Statista reporting that 66.6% of the Hispanic adult population in Puerto Rico are overweight or obese, local restaurants are supersizing their portions. According to The East Bay Express, La Perla, regularly serves single portion meals which could easily feed two. Order a red snapper main and you’ll more than likely be presented with a giant two and a half pound freshly cooked fish with multiple sides. And while eating out may be a luxurious treat, it’s important to note that meals of this size should be consumed scarcely.
Puerto Rico’s restaurants are providing locals with a whole new dining experience. The meals on offer across the island are larger than average. While, the nation’s favorite ingredient, Plantain, has been given a new lease of life. And, with meat off the menu, fish is very much on trend on the island right now.