Guest Post by Anthony Thompson
This weeks post is different and special at the same time. I asked my other half to do a guest post. Anthony has been to many parts of the world including Puerto Rico. He lived there for nearly 2 years and has grown to love the food, people, and the culture. So, being that this weeks recipe comes from Puerto Rico, I thought that it would be appropriate for him to give some insight on the dessert itself and the culture.
I had the opportunity to live in the estado libre asociado (territory) of Puerto Rico for a year and a half. During my time I discovered many culinary delights including tropical fruits unavailable to us in the mainland US. The most impressive element of Puerto Rican culture is their willingness to share. At no time is this more apparent than during las navidades(Christmas celebrations) which begin after Thanksgiving until the Día de Reyes (King’s Day) on January 6th. This is a time of constant festivities when parrandas or traveling Christmas parties occur frequently. It is common to find some of the most delicious desserts at these parties such as arroz con leche (rice pudding) or tembleque (coconut custard). Since the climate is tropical on La Isla del Encanto, these rich yet refreshing desserts are a perfect compliment for an 80 degree winter night. Tembleque brings back wonderful memories of great food an even better company. While I would usually eat it with festive treats such as arroz con gandules (pigeon peas and rice), lechón asado (roasted pig, which I obviously don’t eat anymore), or pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales), this dish is great for a summer treat.