Yes, I know, I have not written in a long time. Lots of work during the Holidays and the first three months of the new year. I promise I will write about the holidays and all the great food eaten then. Here I am again.
Recently my kids have been given a special assigment in school. They have to find information and learn about a specific municipality. As parents, my wife and I have always tought them to go the extra mile. Although we are a high tech family, we decided we were going to take them to whichever town they need information on. Last Sunday we went to Yauco.
Those of you that know something about Puerto Rico, may know Yauco is very well known for its coffees.
It is a colorful town. Great Spanish architecture, streets adorned with coffee motives all over. Quiet small town feel, art in abandoned walls, beautiful main plaza and just overall peaceful and comfortable.
After walking the streets, searching for museums, we got hungry, and before we visited, I knew where we were going to have lunch, La Guardarraya. Although I am going to write about that historical restaurant in another blog entry, I have to say that it has been one of the best experiences I have had in this search of the origin of our Puerto Rican cuisine.
After a great lunch, my wife wanted some coffee, so she searched the web and found highly recommended El Carajillo Coffee House. I wanted everything. As I talked to the owner, she explained her father sells gourmet coffee to various coffee companies and coffee shops in Puerto Rico and they decided to start a new project where they can sell their own coffee as theirs. Also they have a wide selection of handmade pastries a desserts, which we tried the quesito, the lemon and poppy seed cake, a chocolate truffle, coffee and frappe. But the one thing I had to have was the Carajillo.
Carajillo is a historical drink dating back to the Spanish-American war. The soldiers needed a boost of energy and the confidence to keep fighting. In Cuba and in Puerto Rico soldiers mixed coffee with rum. They called it Corajillo, from coraje, meaning courage. As the years went by, Corajillo turned into Carajillo and rum was replaced with brandy or whiskey.
It makes sense that this drink is sold in a coffee house in a coffee producing town by a coffee farmer, not only that, Yauco is right next to Guanica, the town where the American troops invaded Puerto Rico on July 25th, 1898 lead by General Nelson A. Miles as part of the already mentioned war and when Puerto Rico became a United States Possession. I imagine soldiers mixing coffee and rum and taking a big breath and just moving forward.
El Carajillo Coffeehouse serves the coffee with Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur made from citrus and fruit juices, with some vanilla and other spices and herbs.
Some say Carajillo has to be made with whisky. In reality, like everything, is depending on what you have available at the moment or the kind of feeling you want to experience. I loved it. They use a bit of cinnamon and it goes down very well.
If you liked this blog, buy me a coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner! Maybe your meal will create another blog!