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Mofongo (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈfoŋɡo]) is a fried plantain-based dish from Puerto Rico. It is typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a pilón (which is a wooden mortar and pestle), with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bits of bacon. It is often filled with vegetables, chicken, crab, shrimp, or beef and is often served with fried meat and chicken broth soup. Mofongo relleno is mofongo stuffed with stewed beef, pork, chicken or seafood, with stewed sauce poured over.
Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish that has clear roots in west African Fufu. Fufu is made from various starchy vegetables and was introduced to the Caribbean by Africans in the Spanish New World colonies such as the Dominican Republic (mangú), Cuba (fufu de plátano), and Puerto Rico (mofongo). Fufu consist of starchy root vegetables and plantains boiled then mashed until a dough-like consistency with water, butter, or milk.
Plantains are mainly used to make mofongo but other starchy roots can also be used. The plantains and/or starchy roots are cut about half inch thick and deep fried. When done the plantains/roots are crisp out side but dense in side. The plantains/roots are then mashed with broth, olive oil, garlic, pork cracklings, and seasoning. The consistency of mofongo is much more stiff than fufu.
It is also possible to make mofongo with cassava (mofongo de yuca), bread fruit, (mofongo de paña) or a combination of cassava, ripe and green plantains (trifongo), ripe and green plantains (mofongo de amarillo).
Mofongo out side of Puerto Rico
In Cuba mofongo is called Machuquillo. The plantains are not fried but boiled. Machuquillo is often garnished with parsley and served with roasted pork or chicken.
During the 60's many Dominicans feared the re-election of Rafael Trujillo and many fled to Puerto Rico and New York City. Plantains are a Dominican staple and their third most important crop after rice and beans. Mofongo is a staple food for many Dominican restaurants and is noted in their recipe books as Dominican comfort food and a dish borrowed from Puerto Rico.
There is a small, but growing, group in Bloomington, Indiana who gather on the last Sunday in April for the annual "Mofongo Cook-Off".
In popular culture
Food Network chef and host Guy Fieri featured mofongo from Benny's Seafood (in Miami, Florida) and from El Bohio (in San Antonio, Texas) on two separate episodes of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He liked the dish so much that he called it the "best fried thing I ever ate" on an episode of the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Mofongo is featured in a Season 2 episode of Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell as the opening dish challenge.
In a Season 3 episode of Sanford and Son, Lamont tells his father that he has met their new next-door neighbor, Puerto Rican Julio Fuentes. Lamont tells his father that Fuentes gave him "a dish of some stuff that was terrific", which was mofongo.
An episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation set in Harlem showed the host, Adam Richman, visiting a Spanish Harlem restaurant called La Fonda Boricua, where they make a giant 12-plantain mofongo called the "Mofongaso".
Pun pun catalu is a merengue song by Celia Cruz with Willie Colón. The song is about how Cuba, Dominican Rebuplic and Puerto Rico share similarities. She mentions how mashed plantains with pork cracklings are called fufú in her Cuba, mangú in Quisqueya (Dominican Republic) and mofongo in Borinquen (Puerto Rico).
Puerto Ricos oldest group El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico plays a salsa song called El Menu about popular food in Puerto Rico. Andy Montañez brings up mofongo, saying "Traigame el mofongo" (bring the mofongo) over backup vocals as they sing "Y despues que le pongan salsa" (and then put sauce).
- Antonio Benítez Rojo; James E. Maraniss (translation) (1996). The repeating : the Caribbean and the postmodern perspective. Duke University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8223-1865-2.
- Clara R. Gonzalez; , Ilana Benady, Jill Wyatt (2007). Traditional Dominican Cookery. Lulu.com. p. 56. ISBN 9945-04-501-6.
- http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/featured-articles/foodservice-operations/whats-next-in-latin-american-cuisine/ Ramona Hernandez
- Video: Guy Fieri on Mofongo on Food Network
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