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I thought I was going to start this adventure of going to the past and finding out where our food comes from, and we will get to that, but after analizing everything I’ve gather so far, I must start at the end, the now, the today.
You see, Puerto Rico is in no way in good shape. So the food has changed, the ingredients have changed and we, as people, as a culture, have changed. So we have to find out what is going on now, to figure out how did it get here.
Food is largely produced elsewhere, not in Puerto Rico, more than 80% of it all comes from outside.
We walk outside and the streets are full of national chain fast food stores, restaurants and eateries overall. The garlic comes from China, the same garlic we use in our very “traditional” sofrito. The succulent pit roasted pork, that is a tradition of hundreds of years, is brought in from the mainland US of A. We can name pretty much thousands of ingredients that make up hundreds of traditional Puerto Rican dishes, and all of them come in from the rest of the world.
So how Puerto Rican is Puerto Rican food? Is it Puerto Rican food or Puerto Ricanized food? Is there going to be Puerto Rican food 10, 20, 50 even 100 years from now?
These are the questions that I have asked and have not found any answer just yet. And this is the purpose of this project. To learn what has happened and to find out the real history behind the food from Puerto Rico.
I have started my research in supermarkets around the island. Finding out where each ingredient and product comes from. I am still in that process but I tell you, the first findings are horrifying. The future does not seem hopefull, I found Puerto Rican food in a can made in another country, imported here by a huge international brand. Crazy.
The politcal and economical crisis play a huge role in how we eat, and what we eat.
So as I keep finding out what is going on, I will keep posting.
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