What Is the History of Puerto Rican Pasteles?

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Pasteles are a Puerto Rican dish often served at Christmastime. Pasteles are also a traditional food for many Latin American festivals and events. The food has been eaten for centuries by those in Taino and Native American cultures.

The original dough for pasteles was made of plantains, green bananas and raw yams. In modern times, Puerto Rican pasteles are sometimes made with rice or cassava flour. The filling for pasteles is traditionally made from pork, and the pasteles are covered in banana leaves and boiled to cook the dough. Puerto Rican pasteles often contain green peppers, cilantro and garlic to bring out the flavor of the meat.