Sunday, February 20, 2011


 The kitchen smells of crushed garlic
and the deep fryer pops and snaps
In excitement

The counter splays
A rainbow array of exotic spices
And edible elements of the earth
On the radio
A savory salsa swings

Green Plantains
Are not bananas
But they pretend to be
So that the unsuspecting
Might bring them home
And fall in love with their
Starchy nutty flavor

So familiar and comforting
That a ripened plantain
Weans  infants of the Caribbean
On warm summer nights
As the coconuts click in the wind

And Today is their homecoming
Peeled from their green jackets
Like soldiers coming home from war
They are mashed in a wooden
Bowl with a heavy wooden pounder

In comes the Garlic
Potent and earthy
Arrogant and aromatic
Against the bits of blue crab
sprinkled into the bowl

Pressed Olive oil drizzles
Slowly and thick
From a glass bottle
To marry the mixture

 Someone turns the radio up
And the kitchen is in full swing
Ingredients are added by
Invitation only

The finished mush
Is fashioned into a bowl form
And deep fried to crispness

Pots are clamoring
And the savory smells
Cling to the walls
And lure us from our bedrooms

Codfish and crab bubbles
On the stove in a bath of tomato broth
Salty and tender
Ready to be poured into the mofongo bowl

I ran from the dish as a child
For the name felt too foreign
On my tongue
Not easy like Skittles
Or Campbells

But today
It calls to me
With a history,
With a culture,
And with the familiar
Faces  of  family.

Buen Provecho!

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