Friday, January 20, 2012

Lesson Nine: Mofongo

Artist's rendering

We are all aware that the Congo is swarming with sauropods, but what of the jungles of Puerto Rico, what cryptids might exist there?

Many years ago my trusted guide, Mofongo and I peregrinated the El Yunque National Forest collecting the park's greenest bananas. Mofongo carried over one-hundred pounds of the ripening fruit on his strong back while I urged him along with my riding crop.

Road weary, I gazed into the forest canopy to daydream, and that's when I spotted the head & shoulders of an Indricotherium, that is to say: a 50-foot tall, long-legged rhinoceros. "How can this be?" I wondered aloud, "This creature went extinct eons ago."

Before I could answer my own question, the Indricotherium's foot came crashing down on top of Mofongo and my bananas, not necessarily in that order. The creature escaped as I came to Mofongo's aid, but alas he, and my bounty, were squashed flat as a johnny cake.

I miss that old obsidian bastard, with his grimacing smile and stories of back pain and cramping legs.  But I can always remember him by enjoying the signature dish of Puerto Rico, which I named after him:


3 cups canola oil
3 cloves garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 plantains, peeled and squashed flat


Fry the squashed plantains until golden and crispy, but not brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the fried plantains into a mortar with the garlic and olive oil. Toss to coat. Violently mash the coated plantains with the mortar and pestle until smooth. Season with salt before serving.

Bon app├ętit,

AKA "The Naturalist"


  1. Hide me in your steamer trunk on the next adventure, RVB.

  2. Ha ha ha! I eat mofongo.