Mofongo

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Mofongo
Mofongo
Mofongo
Course Main course
Place of origin Puerto Rico
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Plantains, Chicharrón, olive oil, lard and garlic
Variations Fufu, Tacacho, Cayeye, Mangú
Other information Popular throughout:
Puerto Rico
Dominican Republic
Cookbook:Mofongo  Mofongo

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 consists of a wooden mortar and pestle), with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bits of bacon. It can be filled with vegetables, chicken, crab, shrimp, or beef and is often served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.[1] Mofongo relleno is mofongo served with stewed meat or seafood poured over it.

Origins[edit]

Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish that has clear roots in the 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 consists of starchy root vegetables and plantains boiled then mashed until a dough-like consistency with water, butter, or milk.

Method[edit]

A pilón to make Mofongo

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 (originally oven baked or roasted, but commercially it is not feasible due to time constraints). When done the plantains/roots are crisp outside but dense inside. The plantains/roots are then mashed with chicken broth, olive oil, garlic, pork cracklings, pork lard and seasoning. The consistency of mofongo is much more stiff than fufu.

Variations[edit]

It is also common in Puerto Rico to make mofongo with cassava (mofongo de yuca), bread fruit (mofongo de pana), or a combination of cassava, ripe and green plantains (trifongo), ripe and green plantains (mofongo de amarillo).

Frito-Lay produces mofongo chips.

Mofongo outside of Puerto Rico[edit]

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 dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and many fled to Puerto Rico and New York City. Mofongo picked up quickly with Dominicans living in Puerto Rico and New York city (where thousands of Puerto Ricans lived at the time). Plantains are a Dominican staple and their third most important crop after rice and beans. Mofongo is a flag ship food for many Dominican restaurants and is noted in their recipe books as Dominican comfort food and a dish borrowed from Puerto Rican cuisine. [2][3]

Mofongo is also popular in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Florida, and anywhere large numbers of Puerto Ricans or Dominicans reside.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

In The HBO Series How to Make it in America, Episode 5 of the second season is entitled "Mofongo". In it, the dish is prepared and served by one of the characters.

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".

Singer Ismael Rivera with conductor Rafael Cortijo sung a plena song called Mofongo Pelao about mofongo.

Pun pun catalu is a merengue song by Celia Cruz with Willie Colón. The song is about how Cuba, Dominican Republic 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).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Antonio Benítez Rojo (1996). The repeating : the Caribbean and the postmodern perspective. James E. Maraniss (translation). Duke University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8223-1865-2. 
  2. ^ R. Gonzalez; Ilana Benady; Jill Wyatt (2007). Traditional Dominican Cookery. Lulu.com. p. 56. ISBN 9945-04-501-6. 
  3. ^ http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/featured-articles/foodservice-operations/whats-next-in-latin-american-cuisine/ Ramona Hernandez
  4. ^ Video: Guy Fieri on Mofongo on Food Network
  5. ^ [1]

External links[edit]