This delicious, traditional Caribbean dish has deep ties to Africa

According to historian and author Cruz Miguel Ortíz Cuadra, mofongo comes from the Angolan technique of mashing large amounts of starchy foods, then adding liquid and fat to soften the mixture. Enslaved people from Angola and other parts of Africa were brought to Puerto Rico in the 1500s.) Indigenous people on the island also used this mashing and pounding technique as well.

Ortíz writes in his book, “Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture, and Identity,” that the word “mofongo” stems from the Angolan Kikongo term “mfwenge-mfwenge,” meaning “a great amount of anything at all.” Going even further back, the dish traces its roots to the West African fufu, a mash of boiled yams.

Ingredients

  • 5 unripe green plantains - high in iron
  • green plantains are starchy and much less sweet than their ripened counterparts — they contain very little moisture, making a gravy or saucy filling essential
  • 5 large cloves fresh garlic. Garlic is key to the flavor! It is also antibacterial and anti-fungal
  • 4 teaspoons of olive oil heart healthy oil
  • 2 cups olive or sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp of CAL-ADOBO in 3 oz water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cayenne to taste (blood pressure assistant) chopped cilantro for garnish
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