September 30, 2023


Free For All Food

Puerto Rican Foodstuff Possibilities Mature Alongside the Puerto Rican Diaspora in D.C.

“When I arrived at the D.C. metro spot 11 years in the past, I barely had any Puerto Rican purchasers,” states Cindy Vargas, a hairstylist from Ponce, Puerto Rico, who owns Salon Laurel in Alexandria. “As a Puerto Rican, I was observed as exotic. Now, most of my shoppers are Puerto Rican, and they all talk to me in which I really should consume Puerto Rican food stuff.” 

According to the Heart for Puerto Rican Scientific tests at Hunter College, the Puerto Rican population in the D.C. metropolitan region has greater by 42 p.c given that 2010. Most notably, there has been a 121 percent maximize in D.C. good around the earlier 10 years. With a much more robust Puerto Rican population comes a heightened demand from customers for a taste of house.

Puerto Rican delicacies demonstrates the combine of cultures on the Caribbean island: European (primarily Spanish), African, and Taino Indian. Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory because 1898, which has also influenced the meals. The most familiar dishes incorporate lechon asado (roasted pork), arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), mofongo (fried green plantain mashed with chicarrón and garlic, and frituras (fried treats manufactured with a wide variety of batters and fillings). 

Term-of-mouth communication has often been an integral portion of spreading the term about Latin food. Angelique Sina, the president of the D.C.-primarily based nonprofit Mates of Puerto Rico, claims donors and partners often talk to the place they can locate Puerto Rican foods.

Chef Joancarlo Parkhurst opened La Famosa in September. The Puerto Rican cafe in Navy Garden has been well been given. Parkhurst, elevated in the two Puerto Rico and New York City, grew up around food—his grandparents owned a Puerto Rican pineapple juice business with the same identify as his new restaurant.

“Naming the restaurant La Famosa was a homage to them,” Parkhurst suggests. “I am entirely blown absent by the reaction that we’ve gained from the Puerto Rican community, not only in the D.C. space, but we’ve experienced customers come from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”