Livin’ la Vida Local

by Mimi & Vera Levin, Tastemakers in Residence


This past week we found ourselves soakin’ up the sun on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. The 85°F weather was quite the treat compared to the subzero weather back home in Minnesota. It’s this tropical climate that produces a plethora of bright fruits, spicy sauces, and an abundance of fresh seafood. During our stay, we made it our goal to eat like locals, asking each restaurant we went to for the catch of the day or the house specialty. Here’s a taste that’ll have you cravin’ más. 


One of Puerto Rico’s specialties is Mofongo, a dish served in a bowl sculpted from baked yucca – a starchy root vegetable native to South America. The yucca bowl enrobes a savory stew made of smokey notes of pepper, onion, and achiote, and brimming with delicious meats and seafood. Whether you prefer a tender skirt steak or fresh-caught Caribbean lobster, Dorado, or Mahi-Mahi, this is a dish that will satisfy all spice-lovers taste buds. For dessert, roadside food stands provided us with delicious smoothies made from locally grown pineapple, mango, and papaya, and delectable dishes made from sweet plantains and coconut. Pair any Puerto Rican meal with a local rum such as Don Q’s Cristal. Perfecto! 

By diving into the tastes of the tropics, we were able to take our experience in Puerto Rico to another level, and a delicious one at that! So remember, when you travel to a new place, try livin’ la vida local.