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Culinary Historians | Puerto Rican Cuisine in America


Sunday May 16, 2021: 4:00pm to 5:30pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar




Most Americans know very little about Puerto Rican cuisine, partly because Puerto Ricans are but one segment of a vast population known as Latinos or Hispanics, a group that includes people of diverse racial, social and economic backgrounds, from Mexico to Cuba to South America.

Puerto Ricans hail from the Caribbean; thus their cuisine is a potpourri of various cultures, particularly Spanish, native Caribbean and African. It’s heavy on spices, though native “Nuyorican” cuisine has become milder over time due to mainland American influence.

“Nuyorican” refers to Puerto Ricans who were born or raised in New York City, which is where the majority of people of Puerto Rican heritage living in the U.S. are found. With 3.1 million Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico and nearly twice as many living in the United States, it’s no surprise that Nuyorican cooking has been distinctly influenced by American culture.

Puerto Rican cooking features warmth, sensuality; it is infinitely adaptable as countless Puerto Rican families have discovered over the years while living in northern climes.

Our speaker, Oswald Rivera, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City. He is the author of "Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes," as well as two other books on culinary history, "Feasting with the Ancestors" and "The Pharaoh's Feast."

This event is in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor.