Over the weekend when I was at Kroger, I found Chayote squash. I have never cooked with them before, but I was intrigued. When I looked at the plastic bag it came in, it said product of Puerto Rico. I decided to grab one and blog about Puerto Rico. I had been meaning to because my sister went there in November with her husband and Dave and Kelly, and she had some beautiful photos. I went to the library and found a cookbook that had a delicious looking Chayote squash recipe. I also got a jicama because I love slaw salads, and since JJ wasn't going to be home from dinner, I wanted to make a jicama slaw salad to pair with the squash.
The history of Puerto Rico before Columbus arrived in 1493 was not documented well. Spain colonized the island, and turned the natives into slaves. The slaves ended up revolting, but were taken back over by Ponce de Leon in 1511. The Spanish built many forts and walls to protect Puerto Rico from other European explorers (see photo below - El Castillo San Feilpe del Morro ).
During the 1800's, the settlers eventually left the island for mainlands where they could live a more prosperous life.
As a result of the Spanish-American war, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, and The US and Puerto Rico began their relationship. Puerto Rico currently has a republican form of government, it's powers are delegated by US's Congress.
This photo is of Dave and Kelly in Puerto Rico's rain forest, El Yunque.
The native influences on Puerto Rican cuisine are the use of taro, yuca, habaneros, calabazas (pumpkins), peanuts, guava and pinapple.
From the Spanish, wheat, garbanzos, olives, onions, garlic, oranges, grapefruit, chicken, pork and cheese.
From Africa - coconuts, coffee, okra and yams.