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Learn how to make some exceptionally flavorful Aruba food favorites!
While times may be a bit uncertain right now, there is one thing I can say with complete confidence: everyone should have a little bit of Aruban flavor in their home.
Whether you’re a long-time loyal visitor (aka an honorary Aruban) waiting for your chance to return on your next Aruban Vacation, or your very first adventure to the One Happy Island has just been postponed, I’m sure you all can use a little bit of the happy island right now.
And if you ask me, there’s no better way to experience the authentic Aruba from home than by using your taste buds.
In this blog post I will highlight some of my favorite (relatively) easy Aruban recipes that you can enjoy with ingredients you might already have at your disposal!
The pastechi is the quintessential Aruban breakfast food!
It might not be the most nutritious breakfast, but every now and then, especially in times like these, we deserve a little treat. Besides, pastechis are also perfect snacks to enjoy at any time of day.
The delicious bite is made by stuffing a pocket of slightly sweet dough with cheese, beef, chicken, fish, or seasoned vegetables and then deep-frying it to golden-brown perfection.
Pastechis are sold all around Aruba, even in some of our best-rated restaurants, but today, you’re going to learn to make them from your home.
For pastry dough:
Mix dry ingredients with butter. Slowly add liquid. Knead into a smooth ball and let stand for 20 minutes.
Saute vegetables in oil. Add beef and cook until well done. Add bouillon cube, cumin, tomato paste, and, if necessary, a little water. Stir to mix ingredients. Simmer until bouillon cube is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients.
Roll dough out thinly on lightly floured board. Cut into rounds using biscuit cutter or a glass. Place one generous spoonful of filling onto each pastry round. Fold rounds in half; seal and crimp edges. Fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Another local favorite is keshi yena. This translates directly to filled cheese, and essentially, that’s what it is!
Originally, this local delight was made by filling the left-over rind of an Edam or Gouda cheese wheel with seasoned chicken, onion, tomato, green peppers, olives, capers, raisins, and pickles; covering the wheel with its original cap; and then baking the stuffed wheel in the oven until hot and bubbly.
We realize you may not have an entire wheel of cheese or a giant oven at your disposal right now, so here’s the recipe for the contemporary version. It’s just as delicious!
This is very fitting, as we could all use some celebratory vibes right now. Interestingly, this particular recipe serves up to 50 people.
This may seem like a strange recipe to share while we are not allowed to leave our homes, but actually it’s perfect, because bolo preto is known for its (alleged) inability to expire! The brandy in the cake makes that it can be stored for a very long time.
Set some squares aside to enjoy at home with the family and freeze the rest for when it’s safe to have friends over again.
Bolo preto is typically served starting the day after baking, as it has to settle. It is served in small 1-inch pieces.
So, there you have it. Three simple ways to bring some Aruban happiness to your home.
We’re just getting started with the amazing effects Aruba has to offer. Dig into your trip details below to unlock a Caribbean experience that will fill you with sunshine and send you home with a happy afterglow that never fades.