Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I don't know a lot about Puerto Rico, but I know I like it. I like it a lot.
I also know Puerto Ricans like their pigs. They like them a lot.
We stayed in a little town called Salinas for a couple of days (two thumbs up) and from there we took our rental car up into the hills to a town called Guavete. We had heard from friends that every weekend there's a giant pig roast and that it's a major affair. So we hopped in our rental car and went winding up the narrow twisty turny mountain roads through the lush green jungle passing through village after village.
We zipped by a million beautiful scenes of mountain life - people dancing in the streets, vendors selling fresh produce on the side of the road, families gathering on their porches, music blasting and horns honking...I love how lively this culture is - they laugh loud and dance freely. As we drove we passed by probably six or seven pig roasts at various elevations. It was clear that these roasts were more than a meal, they were a destination - everyone was dressed up, strutting their stuff and filling their bellies with pork and mavi (a type of fermented fruit drink). The music was loud, the food was plentiful and vendors were selling everything from battery operated bubble machines to jewelry to hammocks to shot glasses that said "Austria". It was like a scene from the Lionel Ritchie song "All Night Long" except it was "All Day Long".
Highlight of the day:
A bustling street. We - Al, Scott, myself - are walking aimlessly from vendor to vendor, seeing what goods they have available - most have a full pig roasting over a fire...
Vendor(tending to a pig on a spit): You want to try some pork?
Al (who has been dying for a pork chop): Yes, please! (BIG smile on his face!)
The vendor hacks at the pig with his machete and then produces a four by three inch piece of deep fried pig skin which he hands, beaming, to Al. It looks like leather and feels like the bottom of a shoe.
Al's face goes white. Al is not what you would call an "adventurous eater".
Vendor: Here you go! Thees is thee best part!
Me (laughing hysterically): Go on Al, take a bite!!
Al (trooper that he is) takes a tiny bite (actually it's more like a non-bite), I take a tiny bite. We both smile at the vendor. Then Al feeds it to the mangy dog in the street, which - in retrospect - was probably highly offensive to the vendor.
Al is still dying for a pork chop, and we continue on our quest.
I can tell you this - it did NOT taste like chicken.
Brittany & Scott
PS - Want to see more pics? Go to our Facebook page!! You don't nee to have an account to view them and there are lots of great pics and fun to be had!