I had been smuggling Nutella through the Sumatra Straits when my good friend and first mate, Gillihad, suggested we head for Puerto Rico. Perhaps I was feeling saucy that day, perhaps a butterfly in another hemisphere moved in such a way so as to impact my central nervous system; whatever the reason, I decided to chart a different course and leave behind my highly lucrative existence as a cocoa-hazelnut spread smuggler in exchange for different adventures.
A week later we were in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with many things -- the blue water, the hospitality of the natives, the women -- but of all the things I grew to love, none matched mofongo. Mofongo is a dish of fried plantains which have been smashed with various accouterments, such as garlic or crispy pork. It is a starchy, savory miracle of a dish, Latin American soul food of the highest order.
New York has many mofongo parlors. Recently, I sampled the mofongo of Delicioso Restaurant, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. Thick and flavorful, with a rich, beefy sauce which I generously poured on top, the Mofongo reminded me of the version made for me by one of my many Puerto Rican lovers, Esmerelda. Esmerelda died in a coconut accident, but her style of Mofongo lives on at Delicioso.