Chilean Porotos Granados.
Sofía walked up the long winding dirt path to our house carrying a paper grocery bag clutched to her chest. She stopped in front of me while I proceeded to rubbed the belly of my new puppy, Tee Kay. She said, “Tiffany I am going to cook for you Chilean Porotos Granados.” “What is it”, I asked her. “It is a vegetarian dish”, she replied. “I don’t like vegetarian dishes”, I assured her. “Not many 7 years old like vegetarian dishes but I assure you this one you will like”, she added before heading into our kitchen; her long brown curly locks bouncing in the Caribbean sun as she walked.
Uncle Ricky had married Sofía the previous year, a native of Chile. She, a studious cook could turn any ingredient into a culinary delight. But I still was not looking forward to having a vegetarian dish. Perhaps it had to do with my mothers’, whom on the other hand had a tendency to create unappealing vegetable dishes: too bland and too gooey for my liking.
Sofía’s Chilean Porotos Granados was packed with flavors and delicious. Collectively, the natural zests seemed to jumped off of the spoon and caressed the tongue. A traditional dish, Chilean Porotos Granados is a soup-like stew made with corn (maize), Cranberry beans, squash and other vegetables and herbs such as onion, pepper, cumin, oregano and basil.
The aboriginal people of Chile such as the Mapuche consumed mainly plant-based foods and they became exceptions as it relates to creating these types of dishes, which they passed down to the new generations. It wasn’t until the Spanish conquistadors (circa 1541) and seafaring voyagers began arriving and bringing with them their own food cultures when proteins from cow, chicken, pig, and sheep gradually became a part of the Chilean food society.
Conversely, Chilean Porotos Granados remains highly popular and is often referred to as ‘traditional Chilean squash and bean stew’. After thirty plus years it is still one of my favorite vegetarian dishes.
Article by: Tiffany Huggins, L’ EcoResorts