You’d think I was Dominican for the past week. Plátanos con pollo (plantains with chicken), plátanos con pavo (plantains with turkey), and plátanos con carne (plantains with beef). I ate green fried plantains all week with most of my meals. I try to fill my summer months with easy to make meals. I fell in love with green fried plantains in the Bronx. My mom would whip them up and sprinkle it with garlic as a snack. If your Dominican or Caribbean “yo tu sabes!”
My friends and I would meet up at La Caridad; a Latin/Caribbean restaurant in Bronx, New York. We all loved Latin and Caribbean foods. Memories of the laughter we shared in La Caridad bring me at ease when I begin to think about my pastimes with friends in the Bronx during lunch or after school. It is no surprise when I call a friend in New York and tell them that I’m home whipping up a fresh batch of green fried plátanos.
I ventured to the local farmers market. I picked up fresh herbs, spices, tomatoes, potatoes, and a variety of fruits. Although I am not of Latin decent I enjoy Spanish foods therefore, I planned my meals for the week with a Spanish twist. The scents of popular Latin herbs such as cumin and cilantro bring me back to the scents of La Caridad in the Bronx. I remember the aromas of tropical spices greeting me as soon as I would enter the restaurant. It’s as if they use cilantro as an air freshener. The fresh scents of herbs perfume the entrance.
For breakfast on Monday I made plantains with stewed beef. My mother used to make this meal every Saturday after hitting the Spanish market for their fresh produce sales. I used fresh vegetables in the sautéing process of this meal. The turnout was great and I made enough to enjoy this meal twice during the week. Within a five day span I made a fresh batch of plantains three mornings.
P.S. I am not of Hispanic decent. I proudly embrace my Jamaican heritage. This piece was created for creative writing purposes. I attended high school in a highly populated Latin community and met some great friends. This passage is non-fiction…To read the original piece in it’s entirety email me at Ask.Kristen@gmail.com