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Global Menu Mix

6 fresh ways to bring tropical Caribbean flavors to summer menus

Ingredients like plantain, avocado, lime juice, salsa and cilantro turn summer menus into an escape on a plate (or bowl).

While it may be some time before most are entirely comfortable getting on a plane, thankfully there’s a virtual passport in the form of your summer menu.

Whether you decide to get authentic with mofongo or go easy-breezy with a simple salsa on grilled chicken, there are many ways to bring the cool ocean breezes, fiery flavors and a hopefully a little food folklore into your dining rotation.

Mofongo alone has a story worth sharing. The dish—a mash of fried green plantains, pork and garlic—has roots in Africa. A starchy vegetable dish called fufu originated in West Africa with some Spanish influences mixed in. In Cuba, it became fufu de platano; in the Dominican Republic, it’s called mangu; and in Puerto Rico, it’s known as mofongo, and the dish has traveled all the way to onsite dining in Arkansas via a chef who knows his roots. See what that chef and others are doing to make menus light, bright and tropical for summer.

Contact Tara at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie.

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