Puerto Rican cuisine has several influences, Spanish, Dutch, English, much of the Caribbean and particularly French. Food stuffs can be found at the marquetas. Expansive and expressive ingredients are important. Sofrita, adoba, robust and luscious, are embedded in the dishes.
Puerto Rican kitchens must have the items of a cast iron pot and a metate. There are no separate courses. The pig was and still is the favorite meal in Puerto Rico, as well as Latin America.
Puerto Rican cuisine is very similar to the cuisine found throughout Latin America. Some favorite dishes include sancocho (vegetable stew with meat), arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), pasteles (green banana and meat patties wrapped in plantain leaves, and boiled rice with pigeon beans); cochfritos (fritter stuffed with meat as well as arroz con gandules sofrito) is a Puerto Rican ingredient. This is a combination of cilantro, Spanish onions, sweet peppers as well as recao. It can be made in a blender or mashed in a wooden bowl with pestle. Sofrito can be used in soups, meats, beans and rice. Achiote is another popular ingredient that makes rice yellow.
Other delights of this cuisine are helados de coco (coconut rice) de pina (pineapple y papaya). Popular Puerto Rican beverages are café con leche, pina colada, navi and malta. Malta is a drink consisting of barley, molasses and hops.