A Cultural Publication for Puerto Ricans

A Cultural Publication for Puerto Ricans
From the editor . . .
It is March already and that means, a celebration of the Puerto
Rican Woman. We have a long list of women of achievement.
This month we are featuring Daisy Martínez, a ‘chef’ and her
great new book ‘Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night.’ We are also
reviewing a children’s book about Sonia Sotomayor, a must in all
Rican homes, as well as book review written about little known
Luisa Capetillo, a woman ahead of her time. We also feature
Puerto Rican fashion designer, Carlota Alfaro . We conclude our
Month of Puerto Rican women with a music review on
‘Canciones de Amor,’ by Yolandia Monge
Did you know Taíno children used hats covered with leaves to
catch parrots - a delicacy. The Amazon makes two flight calls, a
take-off squawk which consist of a pattern of long squawks, and
a loud "bugle."
Siempre Boricua, Ivonne Figueroa
Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night/Review
Visit Puerto Rico/Trivia, Refranes
Taínos - Calendar - Don Guillo
Diego the Bartender/Carlota Alfaro
Primos/República Dominicana
Hints with Vélez and Rodello
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
More recipes
Book Reviews
Music Review by: Alberto González
MARCH 2010
MARCH 2010
All articles are the property of EL BORICUA
or the property of its authors.
Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night
by: Daisy Martínez
with Chris Styler
Ivonne Figueroa - Dallas, TX
Executive Editor & Gen. Mgr.
Javier Figueroa – Dallas, TX
Dolores Flores – Dallas, TX
Language Editor
Scheduled for release within a few days, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night is
a collection of appealing and flavorful recipes with photos. The large variety
of Latino recipes in this book is supplemented with short essays by Food TV
Star, Daisy Martínez, regarding ingredients, cooking procedures, tips and
short cuts and ‘how tos’. Daisy shares many of the classic Puerto Rican
favorites such as Pastelón de Amarillos, Tostones Rellenos, Jibarito
Sandwich, among others.
Recipes from Latin American include: Arepas form Colombia/Venezuela and
Ecuador, Humitas from Argentina; from Mexico, a Mayan Omelet, and
Shredded Pork Tacos, and whole lot more fabulous and mouth watering
Anna María Vélez de Blas
Recipe Tester
Manuela Rodello
Hints for a Puerto Rican Household
Guillermo ‘Don Guillo’ Andares,
Gardening Tips for Puerto Ricans
Alberto González
Music Reviews
The book includes beautiful photographs by Joseph de Leo, as well as many
articles and narratives that help us get to know Daisy ‘the Chef’ better.
Elena Cintrón Colón
Primos Editor
Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night is scheduled for released in March, both in
English and Spanish versions. Get your copy . . .
Diego Matos Dupree
Watch Daisy on Food Network’s ‘Viva Daisy Show’
Support Staff
Fernando Alemán Jr - Web Consultant
José Rubén de Castro -Photo Editor
María Yisel Mateo Ortiz -Development
EL BORICUA is a monthly cultural publication,
established in 1995, that 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.
Most to
Special Thanks
. . issues
Tayna Miranda Zayas of
George Collazo –
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.
MARCH 2010
People from Barranquitas are known as
Visit Puerto Rico . . .
Puerto Rican 101
Is Puerto Rico a continent? No, the island is
too small to be considered a continent and
being that it is an island, it is not part of a
Speaking Puerto Rican . . .
El Puertorriqueño no sale corriendo: sale
Refrán . . .
El que bien siembra, bien cosecha.
According the Census the most common
surnames in the island are Rivera and
The name comes from the local terra-cotta-colored soil.
The surnames Colón and Rivera are more
common in Puerto Rico than anywhere
else in Latino America.
Barranquitas was founded as a municipality in 1803. Whenever it rains,
the water forms small ravines (barrancas). Hence the name
This hospitable town is known as "Cuna de Próceres" because the
town has produced so many eminent poets, writers, politicians and
educators. These próceres include Luis Muñoz Rivera and Luis Muñoz
Marín, two of the most important participants in Puerto Rico's recent
There are various stops that are highly recommended while visiting
Barranquitas. The church on the plaza with its arched, handmade wood
ceiling should not be missed. For art lovers, a great option is the
Museo de Arte y Antropología, where Puerto Rican art is exhibited. This
museum has a unique Greek-Roman collection.
Close by you can find San Cristóbal Canyon, one of Puerto Rico’s great
natural wonders. See the directory for more information on the canyon.
>How to go:
From Aibonito take Rt 162
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.
MARCH 2010
The Puerto Rican Amazon Parrot (Amazona vittata
vittatais) is also commonly known as Iguaca, the name given
by Taínos - pre-Columbian inhabitants - as it resembled the
sound the parrots make when in flight.
The species is the only remaining native parrot in United
States territory and one of the 10 most endangered bird
species in the world.
Don Guillo, the gardener . . . .
Gardeners must cover plants to protect them from the cold.
Special insulating fabric and frost blankets for plants can be
purchased from most nurseries and home improvement stores,
but in a pinch sheets and blankets can be used to cover the
plants, protecting them from frost and freezing temperatures.
When you learn a freeze is coming, run out to cover your plants.
March 2,
-Eurípides Rubio, U.S. Army Captain and
Vietnam War Hero, born
March 2,
The Jones Act grants U.S. Citizenship to
residents of Puerto Rico.
March 3,
-Juan Antonio Corretjer, poet - born
March 3,
The Puerto Rican Constitution is approved.
March 7,
Oscar García Rivera becomes first elected
Puerto Rican to the NYS Assembly.
March 9,
-ASPIRA, oldest national Puerto Rican
educational agency, est. in NYC
March 9,
Francisco Matos Paoli, poet born
March 9,
Raúl Rafael Carlos Juliá (actor) is born in San
March 10,
Antonio Ayuso Valdivieso is born in Yabucoa.
He founded "El Imparcial," the newspaper, in
March 10,
Caguas, Margot de Vázquez is born in Caguas,
she was a noted teacher and essayist.
March 12,
The University of Puerto Rico is established.
March 15,
Hiram C. Bithorn, the first Puerto Rican major
league player is born.
March 16,
José Feliciano wins Grammy for "Light My
March 20,
Luis Palés Matos, poet, is born in Guayama.
March 22,
Slavery is abolished in Puerto Rico.
March 23,
José Ferrer wins an Oscar for Cyrano de
March 24,
José de Andino, first known Puerto Rican
journalist is born.
March 26,
The first telegraph line is built in Puerto Rico.
March 28,
Nydia Velázquez, first Puerto Rican woman
elected to Congress is born.
March 29,
Pirate Roberto Cofresí is executed.
MARCH 2010
Maestra de Maestros
By Cindy Weightman
Born in 1933, she is often referred to as “Maestra de Maestros” and even as
"Puerto Rico's grande dame of fashion". Carlota Alfaro's fashions and
techniques continue to be relevant, decades after she rocketed to fame in
the 1960s. Her clothes have been featured in Saks Fifth Avenue and
Neiman Marcus; she has collaborated with the likes of Oscar de la Renta
and the ladies she has dressed...from Diana Ross to Carmita Jiménez to
Barbie, just to name a few.
A native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, Alfaro began her career at a time before
fashion schools, magazines and Barbie. She practiced her talent by making
clothes for herself and her dolls. Alfaro recalls her first day of school when
the nuns were so impressed with her uniform that they took her from
classroom to classroom, showing off her skills. Back in that time, there
were no stores and each student had been given instructions to make a
uniform. The nuns were pleased with Alfaro's “perfect interpretation.” She
continued to make clothes for family and friends, even designing her own
prom dress and those of classmates.
During her first show at the Sheridan in Puerto Rico, 45 years ago, she
remembers a standing ovation. And the accolades continue to this day.
Alfaro recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of the famous Barbie doll
and befitted her in a dazzling gown for the occasion. “The day of the
Barbie, I thought I was in heaven,” Alfaro said. She was also humbled and
touched by the way her fellow designers reacted to the award. There was no
jealousy, because all of the others knew it was the dress that had to win,
Alfaro said.
But even more important to her than all of the beautiful dresses she has
designed is her students. “It was never about material possessions.” Alfaro
said. What she's most proud of is that by the grace of god, she can teach
people to make clothes and earn money and that's why she founded the
Instituto de Carlota Alfaro in San Juan.
Alfaro says she never expected fashion to take her so far. She credits “The
will of our God,” as the secret behind her success and just loving what she
does. “I am going to be like Coco Chanel,” she says, “I am going to die
Caribe Rum Punch Cocktail
3 oz Bacardi Gold rum
1 oz orange juice
1 oz pineapple juice
½ oz sweet and sour mix
1 splash grenadine syrup
2 dashes bitters
Pour all ingredients over ice in a
hurricane glass, and stir well. Garnish
with a maraschino cherry and a slice of
* Diego Matos Dupree, born in Bayamón,
is a bartender for a popular cruise line.
He lives on board most of the year and
gets to travel the world.
Puerto Rican 101
Embelequero . . . What does it mean to
be an embelequero?
Someone who is an embelequero tends
to exagerate and embelish stories,
tales, and things in general in order to
make things look or sound better, etc.
They would be good at marketing and
MARCH 2010
Our PRIMOS section journeys through Latin America celebrating our cousins.
(Mashed plantains)
4 green plantains, cut in 4 pieces
½ cup of whole milk
5 tbsp grated mild cheddar
½ stick butter (cold)
5 strips bacon
Salt to taste
Boil the peeled plantains in salted
water until very soft, about 40 min.
(ok to add more water if it dries
up.) Drain. Mash using a potato
masher adding milk, cheese, and
butter as you go.
Fry the bacon strips, chop the
cooked bacon and add both the
bacon drippings and the bacon to
the mashed plantains. Salt to taste
and stir well.
The Southern Coast, or Caribbean Coast of
the Dominican Republic has miles of
beautiful coastline and beaches, and is also
where Santo Domingo, the capital of the la
República Dominicana, is located. Santo
Domingo is known as the “birthplace of the
Americas”, for it was the first European city
of the Western Hemisphere, founded in
1496 by Christopher Columbus’s brother,
Bartolomé Colón.
Today it is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with
a population of 2.5 million, the largest and
most populated city in the Dominican
Republic. Here you will find the best
nightlife, restaurants and shopping in the
Dominican Republic, as well as museums,
ballet, opera, and a stadium for baseball
games, the Dominican Republic’s national
Its colonial heritage is preserved in the
Colonial Zone, where you can see the first
cathedral, the first monastery, first hospital,
first university, and first court of law, all
dating back to the 16th Century. Near Santo
Domingo is Los Tres Ojos, a series of caves
and freshwater lagoons used by the Taíno
Indians for religious ceremonies.
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 Marketing firm and
travels throughout Latin
Oscar de la Renta
A world-famous leading fashion
designer, Oscar de la Renta was
born in the Dominican Republic
(his father is of Puerto Rican
origins). Oscar de la Renta is one
of the most acclaimed, luxury
fashion designers today who
captures the ultimate in fashion for
the modern woman.
MARCH 2010
Cocina Criolla – Cooking Hints
By: Anna María Vélez de Blas
I left Puerto Rico when my husband and I married, and headed to a
military base in Europe. That was grand culture shock for sure.
Missing my family, loved ones, friends, and culture, I began my
quest to cook those favorite dishes Mami cooked in her kitchen.
Bistec Encebollao was one of the first dishes I attempted and it
turned out too watery, and not tender enough, but my husband and I
dug in and finished the entire pan in one sitting.
Hints for a Puerto Rican Household
by: Manuela Rodello
Further attempts were made, and a lot of long distance calls went
back and forth to the island, until I mastered the dish. My errors
included trying to ‘fry’ the meat first, not letting the meat marinate
enough, and cooking it too fast. Now, my Bistec Encebollao comes
out perfect each and every time.
So what is the secret to one of Puerto Rico’s best-loved dishes?
First, make sure the meat is not too thick. It should not be thicker
than ¼ inch, but not much thinner than that. I season the meat with
tons of mashed fresh garlic, oregano, salt and coarse black pepper,
then I use a meat tenderizer tool and tenderize the meat by mashing
it down after it is seasoned. While that sits, I slice up my onions,
not paper thin, and I use a lot of onions (they tend to cook down to
I dump the meat and onions in a gallon zip lock bag, then pour in
the vinegar and oil and shake it well. Now I either put this in the
fridge the night before or get it ready in the morning. I always
prepare two batches, one to cook and one to freeze. If you are
going to freeze for later just add the onions later.
To cook it I use my trusted caldero. I dump it all in, bring it to a
boil, lower the heat and cover it loosely leaving a bit of room for
the steam to escape. In 30 – 40 minutes the meat is ready. While
this cooks I prepare the white rice and tostones. In the meantime
my house smells devine.
*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 children.
Native to Spain, this type meat is a cured hard sausage
that resembles the traditional hard salami. It is
something Puerto Ricans love to eat.
Salchichón sausage is produced from pork meat that is
coarsely ground with some spices added. Chunks of
ground peppercorns randomly distributed among the bits
of fat are common throughout the hard texture of this
sausage. Similar in flavor to Spanish chirozo sausage,
salchichón is commonly served as an appetizer with
cheese or with hearty breads and robust red wines.
Sealed, salchichón sausage can be stored in a cool dry
place out of the light for up to one year. Once a sausage
has been cut open, it should be refrigerated, as the cut
exposes the interior of the sausage to the risk of bacterial
Manuela Rodello Blanco, born in Río Piedras, is a
Home Economics Teacher in North Carolina.
MARCH 2010
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
Bistec Encebollado
Puerto Rican marinated steak with onions
Bolitas de Maiz
2 pounds beef top round, cut into thin slices
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper, to taste
1 tsp crushed oregano
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, mashed
2 cups Spanish yellow onion slices
In a plastic saleable bag, drop all the ingredients. Marinate over
night or at least 4 hours. Drop it all in a medium caldero and
cook over low heat, partially covered, for about 20 minutes or so.
Serve over white rice with tostones.
1 lb. corn meal, extra fine if available
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups milk
2 oz. butter or margarine
2 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Adobo
1 cup corn (whole kernel)
3 eggs (beaten)
In a saucepan add milk, butter, sugar, salt, Adobo, and corn
and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add corn meal and
baking powder and mix until it gets sticky. Let this cool a
bit, for about 20 minutes or so, and then add the eggs,
mixing fast.
Makes about 6 Servings
Drop by tablespoons into hot oil and fry until golden.
Serve with spicy mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.
Puerto Rican 101
What is the most popular island appetizer?
Puerto Rico’s most traditional aperitivo is guava
paste and white cheese. The paste and cheese
are cut into squares and secured with a toothpick
and put on a serving platter. This the most typical
and traditional appetizer served in the city and en
el campo for hundreds of years. It is a delicious
mix of sweet and salty.
MARCH 2010
Nuestra Cocina Criolla
Brazo Gitano
Bacardi Guava-Cheese Jelly Roll
Prepare a 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan (which is actually what we think
of a cookie sheet, with edges) by lining with parchment paper or
aluminum foil, then spray with oil & flour baking spray.
1 box yellow cake mix - Prepare cake as per directions on the box,
but reduce water by ½ cup and add ½ cup Bacardi.
Pour cake batter on the prepared pan and carefully spread the batter
all around to the edges. Bake for about 15 - 18 min until fork comes
clean. Turn out immediately onto towel sprinkled with powdered
sugar. Carefully peel off the parchment paper or foil. Roll up like
jelly roll – towel and all. Let cool for about 30 min.
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup guava jelly or jam
Beat cream cheese (room temperature), vanilla and sugar until
smooth, add the jelly or jam and beat again for only 30 seconds.
Gently and slowly, unroll the cake, remove the towel, and spread
filling over the cake to all the edges. Gently roll up the cake again.
Refrigerate until 10 minutes before serving.
Place the jelly-roll on a serving platter and dust with a bit of
confectioners’ sugar just before slicing and serving.
Caldo Santo
Prepared during Lent
7 cups coconut milk
½ cup annatto seeds
1 cup basic recaito
3 quarts water
1# yuca, cut into 1-inch cubes
1# yautia, cut into 1-inch cubes
1# batata, cut into 1-inch cubes
1# calabaza, cut into 1-inch cubes
1# ñame, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 green plantains, peeled and shredded, and
shaped into 1-inch balls
salt to taste
1 cup alcaparrado
1# medium shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1# lobster meat
8 blue crabs, whole
1# boneless fillet of red snapper, chopped
Heat 1 cup of the coconut milk with the annatto seeds.
When the milk turns bright red, remove it from the heat
and strain. Set the milk aside and discard the seeds.
In a big soup pot, combine the annatto-colored milk,
the rest of the coconut milk, recaito and water. Bring
this to a slow boil then add the root vegetables and
plantain balls. Add the salt and bring to a boil again.
Add all the alcaparrado and the seafood and simmer for
30 minutes, or until the root vegetables are cooked. Let
the soup cool a little before serving. Serve with French
bread on the side.
MARCH 2010
Nuestra Música
Sonia Sotomayor: a judge grows
in the the Bronx/la juez que
creció en el Bronx
By: Jonah Winter
Illustrations by: Edel Rodríguez
Ages 4-8
$16.99 (Hardcover)
Atheneum Books for Young
Readers (Imprint of Simon &
Watch Sonia Sotomayor blossom from being a young determined
Puerto Rican girl to Supreme Court Justice in the picture book, Sonia
Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, by Jonah Winter. The
bilingual prose and beautiful illustrations will touch your heart as you
read about Sonia’s perseverance and her mother’s love, which
motivated her to do well. Share with your children the inspiring true
story of a woman’s rise from the projects in the South Bronx to the
highest seat in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Absolute Equality: An Early Feminist
Perspective/Influencias de Las Ideas
by: Luisa Capetillo , Lara Walker
Publisher: Arte Público Press
Pages: 360
Publication Date: 01 February 2010
A collection of works by one of Puerto Rico’s very first feminists,
Luisa Capetillo. Luisa born in 1879 in Arecibo and is the first woman
known to have worn men’s trousers. It is she on the cover of this
book. She was a working class militant, intellectual, writer of essays
and plays, who during her life published four books of a combination
of works like essays and plays, letters, works of fiction, and more.
This volume combines long and short plays, fiction, essays,
propaganda, letters, poems, philosophical reflections, and journal
entries in a never-before-available English translation by Lara
Walker. The first 34 pages or so are dedicated to the Introduction of
Luisa Capetillo, who she was and her accomplishments. The rest of
the book is an English Translation, followed by the original Spanish
text of Capetillo’s work. Noteworthy reading.
Artist: Yolandita Monge
Release Date: 2007
When talking about female singers, the name
Yolandita Monge needs to be mentioned. Here is
a “Borinqueña” who possesses one of the most
powerful and melodic voices in the past few
decades not only locally but also internationally.
Yolandita started her artistic journey participating
in Radio and TV shows and releasing her first
album “Puerto Rico's
Poignant...Powerful...Incomparable: Yolandita
Monge” while being a child. She has known how
to adapt her music through the years in order to
always stay as one of the most popular artists in
the market, from Ballade to Latin Pop, some folk
music like Plena, and others. After 40 years in
the music industry with more than 30 albums, as
well as music videos, concerts, and performing as
an actress in TV series and soap operas, her list of
national and international awards, recognitions,
records and achievements would be impossible to
be shown in full here. But, mentioning some of
them, she has won several Gold, a few Platinum
and a couple of Double Platinum records, set a
Guinness World Record for performing 3
concerts in 3 different cities in one day, and also
has earned various music awards and
With so many hits in her career, trying to select a
few of her best songs becomes a tough task, but
this CD compiles a good sample of her lifelong
* Alberto González lives in Illinois, works in Spanish &
ESL education and provides services in SpanishEnglish translation.
Graduated from the Inter
American University of Puerto Rico and also attended
the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico.