Rice and beans is considered a staple dish of the Caribbean. This article traces the principles of sabor—a multisensorial image—in the dish of rice and beans in Puerto Rico. I argue that Ana Lydia Vega’s story “Historia de Arroz con Habichuelas” and the recipes for “Arroz Blanco” (White Rice) and “Habichuelas Rosadas Secas” (Dried Pink Beans) in Carmen Aboy Valldejuli’s vernacular cookbook Cocina Criolla set forward a multisensorial image I call sabor and invite us to participate in a sensorial life in the Caribbean. In considering the privileged place of the dish in the Puerto Rican culinary imaginary, I propose an analysis of the writing of and about food made possible through savoring—as an exercise that brings us closer to the particularity of the culinary.
Recipe for Rice and Beans: Sabor and Culinary Imaginaries in Puerto Rico in Ana Lydia Vega and Carmen Aboy Valldejuli
Mónica B. Ocasio Vega is a PhD candidate in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures at UT Austin where she studies the culinary cultures of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico as imaginaries for a specific sensible life.
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Mónica B. Ocasio Vega; Recipe for Rice and Beans: Sabor and Culinary Imaginaries in Puerto Rico in Ana Lydia Vega and Carmen Aboy Valldejuli. Gastronomica 1 May 2022; 22 (2): 15–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2022.22.2.15
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