Puerto Ricans are expert at frying, and many of their Creole dishes and street-vendor snacks are a variation of some type of fried dough filled with meat, fruit, or vegetables. The following are words that are helpful to know when ordering from a local menu:
*Cocina criolla – creole dishes, local cuisine using island products and spices.
*Alcapurrias – dough made from ground plantains and yautia (potato-like vegetable) stuffed with ground beef and fried.
*Arepas – puffed pancake-like pastry made with a butter-and-flour dough, sometimes sweetened.
*Bacalaitos – cod fish, shaped into a disk, battered and fried.
*Chicharron – fried pork skin.
*Coco Frio – water from a cold, green coconut.
*Empanadillos – crescent-shaped dough filled with meat or seafood and fried.
*Lechon – roasted suckling pig.
*Mofongo – a mound of mashed plantains with the center pressed down and filled with seafood, meat, or vegetables.
*Pastelillos – fried dough filled with meat or seafood.
*Pinchos – marinated cooked meat on a stick, shish-kabob style, usually grilled over an open fire.
*Piononos – sweetened mashed plantain filled with seasoned meat and fried.
*Relleno De Papa – mashed potato balls stuffed with ground meat and fried.
*Tostones – green plantains, which are flattened, fried, and served with various sauces or toppings.