A Cultural Publication for Puerto Ricans

A Cultural Publication for Puerto Ricans
Si yo no hubiera nacido, en la tierra en que nací,
estubiera arrepentido – de no haber nacido allí! . . . .
Happy Discovery Day, November 19th
to all Puertorriqueños
where ever you may be.
This is our day, our celebration.
Soy Boricua, mi amor es . . . Puerto Rico!
Don’t forget, after thanksgiving our website will include musica jíbara,
and aguinaldos with letra to sing along. Each week a different
Aguinaldo. Our December issue will, as always, be dedicated to our
Puerto Rican Navidad. It will be all about our holiday celebrations, food,
and music.
Siempre Boricua,
Ivonne Figueroa
Visit Puerto Rico/Trivia, Refranes
Taínos - Calendar - Don Guillo
Diego el Tavernero/
Food Blogs – Velez/Jaime in the Kitchen
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
More recipes
Book Review
Music Reviews by: Alberto González
All articles and photos are the property of
of the writer or photographer.
Ivonne Figueroa
Executive Editor & Gen. Mgr.
Javier Figueroa
Anna María Vélez de Blas, Chef
Recipe Tester and Writer
Jaime Garibay Rivera, PhD
Jaime in the Kitchen, Food Blog
Pavochón for Thanksgiving with Mojo Sauce
Guillermo ‘Don Guillo’ Andares, PhD
Gardening Tips for Puerto Ricans
Alberto González
Music Reviews
Elena Cintrón Colón
Primos Editor
Diego Matos Dupree
Joe Román Santos
Travel Editor
Lisa Santiago Brochu, Chef
Restaurant Reviews
Luisa Yaliz Alaniz Cintrón, MD
Guest Writer
Support Staff
Carmen Curan, theRican Chef
Read our Rican Chef’s Pavochón recipe here . . .
EL BORICUA is a monthly cultural publication,
Boricua,in 1995,
is Puerto Rican owned and
operated. We are NOT sponsored by any club or
organization. Our goal is to present and promote our
"treasure" which is our Cultural Identity - “the Puerto
Rican experience.” EL BORICUA is presented in
English and is dedicated to the descendants of Puerto
Ricans wherever they may be.
Fernando Alemán Jr - Web Consultant
José Rubén de Castro -Photo Editor
María Yisel Mateo Ortiz -Development
Special Thanks to . . .
Tayna Miranda Zayas of MarkNetGroup.com
There are three Puerto Rico's you need to learn
about; the old, the new and the natural. Learn about
our little terruño. Subscribe to EL BORICUA, a
monthly cultural publication for Puerto Ricans.
People from Aguadilla are known as
Refrán . . .
Se está ahorcando con su propia soga.
Mi Puerto Rico
Joe Roman Santos, Editor
Wondering what to see and do in Aguadilla Puerto Rico?
Aguadilla derives its name from a name
given by the Taíno Indians - Guadilla or
Guadiya which means garden.
Whether you’re planning a vacation to Aguadilla, or a day trip, there is no
doubt that the city of Aguadilla is an interesting place for fun due to the
beautiful beaches, for one. There are several historical places to visit and
other interesting sites, but for me, it’s the beach!
Aguadilla is known as La Villa del Ojo de
Agua (village of the eye of water). Aguadilla
is also known as El Pueblo de los
Tiburones (town of the sharks).
Aguadilla is a seaside city located on the western coast of Puerto Rico and it's
one of the best beach vacation destinations in Puerto Rico.
The town was founded in 1775 by Luis de
Beach activities and water sports are, undoubtedly, two of the most popular
things to do in Aguadilla, though they’re not the only thing to do there since
Aguadilla is home to many interesting places to visit like lighthouses and
Water sports and water activities such as surfing, fishing trips, jet skiing,
kayaking, snorkeling, diving and banana boat rides are popular things to do in
Aguadilla and the good news is that there are plenty of reputable tour
operators to choose from.
If you’re looking for diving schools, snorkeling and diving tours, there are
many good dive shops, and literary hundreds of rental shops to choose from
in Aguadilla.
Aguadilla was the recipient of the "Best
Quality of Life Award", given by the
National Mayor Association, in 2002 and
Print your copies of EL BORICUA and file
them in a 3-ring binder.
The western coast of Puerto Rico is known as the surfing mecca of the island,
so as you can imagine surfing is another of the popular things to do in
Aguadilla. If you do plan on surfing, you’ll get the best consistent waves
between October and April, which is when the surfing season in Puerto Rico
actually kicks in.
Joe is a schoolteacher in Houston and spends most of his holidays and
summers in Puerto Rico.
is a powerful word.
It is our history,
it is our cultural affirmation,
it is a declaration,
it is a term of endearment,
it is poetic . . .
it is us.
Nov. 2, 1992
Nydia Velázques is elected first Puerto Rican
woman in U.S. Congress.
Nov. 3, 1970
Hermán Badillo becomes fist stateside Puerto
Rican congressman.
Dances had always been significant in the lives of Taínos as
both a common amusement and a solemn duty.
Nov. 7, 1909
b. Ernesto Juan Fonfrías, lawyer, writer, poet, and
politician. He wrote about customs & folklore.
Many dances played a vital role in religious rituals and
ceremonies; while others were held to guarantee the
success of hunts, harvests, giving thanks, marriage, and
other celebrations or they were war dances.
Nov. 7, 1903 b. Jesús María Sanromá, became one of the
century's most accomplished and important
Commonly, dances were during Areitos. Movements of the
participants illustrated the purpose of the dance -- expressing
prayer, victory, thanks, mythology and more.
Sometimes a leader was chosen, on others, a specific
individual, such as a war leader or medicine man would lead
the dance.
Dances incorporated drums and rattles. Some dances
included solos, while others included songs with a leader and
Participants might include the entire village, or would specific
to men, women, or families.
In addition to public dances, there were also private and
semi-public dances for healing, prayer, initiation, storytelling,
and courting.
Nov. 8, 1942 b. Angel Cordero, champion jockey.
Nov. 8, 1903 b. Emilio S. Belaval, lawyer and writer. Author
of "La intríngilis puertorriqueña," which
furthered our culture and folklore.
Nov. 12,
b. José Gautier Benítez, poet and writer on Puerto
Rican customs and folklore.
Nov. 19,
Puerto Rico's Discovery Day
Nov. 22,
Milagros Benet de Newton, born in Cayey,
became a civic leader and fought for women's
Nov. 23,
Celeste Benítez, journalist, politician, PPD
Nov. 25,
Spain grants Puerto Rico autonomy under the
leadership of Luis Muñoz Rivera.
Nov. 28,
Manuel Tavárez, composer and father of Puerto
Rican danza.
Don Guillo, the gardener . . . .
Hola! I’m Pepito
I am still a puppy and was living on the streets in Mayagüez and was
rescued by nice people. I was already adopted by my new parents in
Maine. I live in the house with my new mom and dad. I get to eat all
the food in my bowl and I get snacks too.
I have other friends in PR that also need to find a home.
Wintering house plants is easy. Keep houseplants away from cold
drafts, radiators, and hot air vents. Also make sure houseplant foliage
doesn't touch cold windows.
Humidifiers are an excellent way to increase the relative humidity in a
single room or throughout the entire home. Group plants together. The
water evaporating from the potting soil, plus water lost through the plant
foliage (transpiration), will increase the relative humidity in the immediate
vicinity of the houseplants. Another method is to place the houseplants on
trays (saucers) filled with pebbles or gravel and water. The bottoms of the
pots should be above the water level.
Coctel Antillano
1 ¾ oz Don Q Gran Añejo
¾ oz Chambord
1½ oz simple syrup
1¼ oz fresh lime juice
Shake and strain
Garnish with lime wheel
DonQ Gran Añejo
Puerto Rican Rum
Should you be fortunate enough to spend some sun-filled days in Puerto
Rico, one of the things you'll bring back is an enduring passion for DonQ rum.
The brand is the bestselling rum on the island and its likeness can be found
almost everywhere. DonQ is very much a product of its homeland and the
island's vibrant character is deeply imbued in its native spirit. For those who
appreciate sipping world-class rums and not emptying your wallet in the
process, then welcome to the United States venerable DonQ Gran Añejo
Puerto Rican Rum. Trust me, you'll be quite glad you did.
One of the storied rum distilleries of the Caribbean, Distilleria Serrallés
was founded in 1865 by Don Juan Serrallés at the Hacienda Mercedita sugar
plantation outside of the city of Ponce on Puerto Rico's southern coast. Using a
copper pot still he had imported from France, Serrallés began distilling rum
from their estate-grown cane and pristine spring water. The brand—DonQ—
was created in 1935.
Now more than 145 years later after its founding, Destileria Serrallés is
one of the oldest family-owned and operated businesses in the Americas. It has
achieved an international reputation for excellence producing molasses-based,
continuous- and pot-distilled Puerto Rican rums. Even loftier, the company has
invested significant time, knowledge and resources to make their distillery one
of the cleanest and greenest in the spirits industry.
In 1993, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus'
second voyage to the New World—during which he discovered the island of
Puerto Rico—Destileria Serrallés released its finest expression to date—DonQ
Gran Añejo. This unique blend of rums is aged from 6 to 12 years in American
white oak.
Pour onto chiled cocktail glass
* Diego Matos Dupree, born in Bayamón, is a
bartender (tavernero) for a popular cruise line. He
lives on board most of the year and gets to travel
the world.
Our PRIMOS section journeys through Latin America celebrating our cousins.
Panama is a very interesting case of geopolitics: Geographically it’s definitely
Central America, just by looking at a map and seeing that its the end of the
Central American isthmus. Historically its South American as, since the preColumbian times, its indigenous population was more related to the Chibcha
Indians of Colombia and, remotely, to the Incas of Peru. This historical
connection remained during the Spanish conquest, and the Grand Colombia
project of the early 19th Century. Panama had little, if any common history with
the rest of Central America until the 20th century.
However, culturally Panama is definitely Caribbean, having more in common
with Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic than with either Colombia or
Costa Rica. If you compare foods, music, language, climate, etc you will see
how Caribbean Panama really is.
Panama is one of the key crossroads in the world, the land bridge between
North America and South America and the waterway between the Atlantic and
the Pacific
Built to make travelling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans faster and
safer, the Panama Canal makes for a fascinating journey. Plus the countries of
Central America, with their tropical climate, make for a steamy destination
where you can explore jungles and rainforests and marvel the vast array of
Elena Cintrón Colón
Primos Editor
* Elena, born and raised in Puerto
Rico to Brazilian and Peruvian
parents, lives in Buenos Aires
most of the year. She works for a
large South American firm and
travels throughout Latin America.
She comes home to San Juan.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter
and cut into the dry ingredients with a fork or
two knives (making a cutting motion) or use a
pastry blender, until the mix is crumbly.
Add water a little bit at a time, while mixing with
the hands until the dough separates from the
Hojaldrasis the Panamanian version of fried bread. In Panama, at least, it is served as a
breakfast bread, and it is not sweetened with powder sugar, so it is more of a salty
Make small balls of dough, and then stretch them
with the hands until they are about 5″ in diameter
(they won’t be perfectly round, more like ovals).
Place about 2″ of oil in a pan, and preheat over
medium-high heat.
1 lb. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup water
oil for frying
When the oil is hot, fry the dough until it is
golden brown and bubbles up.
Serve with fried eggs, or just by themselves.
I like mine sprinkled with powdered sugar, but
that’s not traditional.
Jaime in the Kitchen
A Food Blog
Cocina Criolla – Cooking Hints
By: Anna María Vélez de Blas
You already know Puerto Ricans love fried foods, it is one of the basic
food groups in our little island. I try not to fry food in the warmer
months (I won’t say winter, because I live in Florida and we don’t have
winter). Starting in November I fry lots of goodies. One of these is
Tortitas de yuca. By the way for those that don’t know . . . yuca is
known as casave or cassava, which was what the Taínos used to make
their only bread. They used to grind it and squeeze out the poisonous
juice then it would be dried and then made into bread. We love yuca!
But now we can buy it already made into flour, look for Harina de Yuca
or Manioc Flour.
You know I only make easy stuff, so here’s my recipe for Tortitas de
Yuca . . .
2 lbs of cassava flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of milk or more to hold it together
½ teaspoon garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon sugar
How to roast fresh garlic for mojo de ajo
Mix all ingredients together.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
With the help of a tablespoon form oval shaped fritters, try not to make
them too thick and slide into hot oil.
Peel off the loose skin.
Cut off the top so the garlic is exposed.
Drizzle about 1 tsp of olive oil on top, making sure to cover
each exposed clove.
Fry 4-6 tortitas at a time until golden brown on both sides.
Serve warm.
Roast in the oven for 35-55 minutes at 400F until the cloves
are golden in color.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before gently squeezing the
garlic out of each skin. You can also use a paring knife to cut
away the skin.
The pungent flavor of raw garlic is now gone, leaving behind
a buttery and mild garlic spread.
Run thru a bender with plenty of olive oil and salt for a great
tostones mojo.
*Anna is a Recipe Tester for EL BORICUA and is also a professional
Chef, she lives in California with her husband, Joe and their three
Hasta la proxima!
* Jaime Garibay Rivera, Ph.D. is a retired college professor
(Aerophysics), now living in Miami. He has three children and his
family roots are in Mayagüez.
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
4 (13 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
frosting to rim the mugs
whipped cream for topping
marshmallows for topping
Add coconut milk, condensed milk and extracts to a pot, whisking
to combine. Stir in salt, cocoa powder and chocolate, whisking
again. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over medium low heat. You
want to stir and whisk every 15 minutes or so, making sure the
chocolate melts nicely and is thoroughly distributed throughout
the mixture.
After a while it begins to thicken and bubble on the sides, so
whisk well. Just keep your eye on it and whisk everything
Cook over very low heat while whisking, stirring until totally
combined. Continue to stir along the edges where chocolate may
stick and burn.
Before serving, add coconut to a small saucepan and heat over
low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Toast for 5-6 minutes
until golden. Let cool, then add to a paper or ziplock bag and
crush with you hands under small flakes remain.
To serve, rim the edges of a mug with some frosting or glaze or
something sticky like honey, then dip the rims in the toasted
coconut flakes. pressing gently to adhere. Pour hot chocolate in
the mugs and garnish with whipped cream and marshmallows.
Coconut Hot Chocolate
This year make Thanksgiving more Puerto
Rican by substituting mashed yuca for the
Mashed potatoes. Season it with sat and
Pepper and garlic powder. So yummy!
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
Caribbean Tres Leches Cake
Appetizers with a Puerto Rican gusto . . .
Creamy Cilantro-Garlic Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped
2 minced recao leaves (optional)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill.
For the Cake Base:
6 large size egg whites
6 egg yolks
1 cup of flour sifted
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pouring Liquid Cream:
1 can (14 ounces) of sweet condensed milk
8 ounces coconut milk
1 can (11 oz.) evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To frost: You can cover this cake with whipped cream, but you can
also cover with fruit cocktail.
Whipped Cream topping:
1 cup of Whipping Cream
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a 9-inch round
cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
Garlic Mojo dip
4 heads of garlic, peeled
1 cup olive oil
Black pepper
Heat olive oil in a small pot. Add garlic and cook until tender on a
very low heat, about 20-25 minutes. When they are ready, run thru
food processor until it is almost liquefied. It is ok to have some
solid pieces of garlic. Pour on serving dish and sprinkle with salt
and pepper. The mixture will need to be stirred now and then
because it tends to separate, but that’s the way it is. Some people
add a bit of lime juice to this and that’s fine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip
egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add sugar and whip until the
mixture is meringue-like in texture. Add the yolks one at a time and
mix to combine. Then add the flour mixture and milk alternately,
beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the
prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is firm to
the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy
cream and set aside.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, evenly poke holes in the
still hot cake and evenly ladle about half of the sauce over the cake
until it has been absorbed. Refrigerate immediately for at least 2 hours,
preferably 4-6 hours.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment, whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff.
To serve, ladle about a 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a plate.
Place a slice of cake on top and top the cake with a doll up of whipped
Nuestra Música
“Así En La Tierra Como En El Cielo”
A good reason for the city of Mayagüez to celebrate is the return of his
prolific singer/songwriter son Germán Wilkins Vélez to the musical
More than 40 years of song writing, recordings and performances have
established Wilkins as a very important and influential artist in Puerto
Rico and offshore.
De la Tierra con Sabor
Puerto Rican Vegetarian Recipes
De la Tierra con Sabor is a Spanish vegetarian cookbook
of 247 recipes spread over 328 pages, accompanied by
more than 400 color photos.
Many of the ingredients in the recipes are root vegetables
(viandas), other vegetables, fruits grown in Puerto Rico, in
addition to rice, beans, pasta and soy products. Nearly all
the ingreadients can be found in farmer’s markets,
supermarkets, and “bodegas.”
This past May 15th De la Tierra con Sabor came out as
among the top 250 cookbooks from 83 countries, according
to Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 First Harvest.
You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy these recipes. This
Book is written in Spanish. All recipes are in Spanish.
Available online, $34.95 plus shipping
Mentioning all of his hits would be impossible to accomplish here, but
we can review some of them, starting with his 1970s popular tunes,
“Bella sin alma”, “Amigos míos, me enamoré”, “o tú o nada”,
“Pensamiento y palabra”, “No se puede morir por dentro”, “¿Cómo no
creer en Dios?” and the folkloric Seis “De ahí vengo yo”. Then, in the
‘80s, “Yo apuesto a mí”, “Una buena canción de amor”, “Pero te olvido”,
“Te mataría”, “Mi problema eres tú”, “Margarita”, and the list keeps
going on for a couple more decades. His influence as a songwriter has
been evident many times throughout the years when his songs have
been at the top of the charts as part of other fellow singers recordings,
for instance, Ismael Miranda’s “Como mi pueblo”, Danny Rivera’s “A ver
si mi canto llega”, Víctor Manuelle’s “Pensamiento y palabra”, and
many more.
Returning to the musical world where he totally belongs, after an
unfortunate interruption, Wilkins has just released his latest creation
“Así En La Tierra Como En El Cielo”, inspired by the Lord’s Prayer (El
Padre Nuestro). This served as the opening song in his extraordinary
concert “Vive” at “El Coliseo de Puerto Rico, José Miguel Agrelot”,
presented this past October 20 , 2013. This presentation counted with
an outstanding musical support by the Philharmonic Orchestra of
Puerto Rico, conducted by the consummate guitarist and musical
director Francisco “Ito” Serrano, and the participation of Puerto Rican
culture icon Quique Domenech (cuatro) in “De ahí vengo yo” (Wilkins),
and musician/composer Michael Sembello (guitar) in “Margarita”
(Michael Sembello/Wilkins).
To round up this highly artistic presentation, a dance company formed
by the young and talented Puerto Rican artists Indra Brugueras
Martínez, Janyl Rodríguez, Lizaimi Rivera, Norberto Collazo, and
teacher/choreographer Anamaría Amador, shared the stage with
Wilkins during his danceable hits like “Sopa de caracol (1991)” and
“Margarita (1987)”, among others, displaying a magnificent
performance where art, talent and discipline came together as one.
-Alberto González lives in South Florida, works in Spanish & ESL
education and provides translation services. Graduated from the Inter
American University of Puerto Rico and attended the Music
Conservatory of Puerto Rico-