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Cuchifritos facts for kids

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Cochifrito-Madrid
Raw cuchifritos before being cooked, with all of the ingredients
Cochifrito o cuchifrito
Fried cochifritos made of cochinillo (suckling pig) ready for consumption

Cuchifritos or cochifritos refers to various fried foods prepared principally of pork in Spanish and Puerto Rican cuisine. In Spain, cuchifritos are a typical dish from Segovia in Castile. The dish consists of pork meat fried in olive oil and garlic and served hot. In Puerto Rico they include a variety of dishes including morcilla (blood sausage), papas rellenas (fried potato balls stuffed with meat), and chicharron (fried pork skin), and other parts of the pig prepared in different ways. Some cuchifritos dishes are prepared using plantain as a primary ingredient. Cuchifritos vendors also typically serve juices and drinks such as passionfruit, pineapple, and coconut juice, as well as ajonjolí, a drink made from sesame seeds.

Origin

The term used to refer to small, fried parts of a pig.

It is incorrectly thought that it derives its name from the word cuchí, short for cochino or pig and frito, which describes something that is fried.

The etymology of the word comes from the participle of verbs cocer -to cook or boil- (latín coctum > cocho, from which derives the element cochi-) y freír -to fry-(-frito).

Cuchifritos may also refer to restaurants that serve this type of food.

In New York

In New York, vendors advertising cuchifritos are particularly notable because they tend to make use of colorful external lighting and big, flashy signs that quickly catch the eyes of passersby. These establishments dot Puerto Rican and Dominican areas of New York City, particularly Spanish Harlem, Bushwick, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, South Bronx, Brooklyn, and other primarily Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhoods.

Puerto Rican dishes

Cuchifrito vendors also sell rice with stewed beans, arroz junto, and arroz con gandules

Fried dishes served in a cuchifrito:

  • Alcapurrias - starchy dough from eddoe mixed with green banana or cassava, filled with meat or seafood, and fried.
  • Bacalaítos - a deep fried pancake-like batter containing salted codfish, flour, milk, sofrito and spices.
  • Cocido ponceño - stew pig feet and tail with chickpeas.
  • Empanadillas - empanadas or turnovers.
  • Mofongo - fried plantains or starchy root vegetables mashed with broth, olive oil, chicharrón, garlic and seasoning.
  • Morcilla - blood sausage.
  • Rellenos de papa - mashed potatoes stuffed with picadillo or cheese, rolled in cornmeal or breadcrumbs, then deep fried.
  • Pionono -
  • Plátanos rellenos - mashed sweet plantains stuffed with picadillo or cheese, rolled on to cornmeal for a crispy layer before deep fried.
  • Pasteles - starchy root vegetable and green banana tamales wrapped in banana leaf.

In media

New World cuchifritos and cuchifrito establishments have appeared regularly in the Bronx Flavor television series hosted by Baron Ambrosia. Episodes such as "Cuchifritos of Love" document the history of the food and its distinct role in Nuyorican cuisine and identity.

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