Surrounded by the Caribbean and the Atlantic oceans and easily lured by the pristine beaches and tropical weather it is easy to imagine why you would easily say "Yes" to Puerto Rico.
Our ideal travel experience is discovering the local culture, food and the neighborhoods. We take the opportunity to walk, and walk some more. We enjoy being part of the local community and shy away from the tourist crowds.
We visited the local Farmers Market on a hot humid Saturday morning where citrus was front center.
A local artisan cheese maker who produced a delightful semi-hard sheep's milk cheese. We purchased a small wedge of her cheese, a baguette, a few slices of cured meat and fruit and called it lunch.
A small farmer selling his fresh plantains to the local restaurants that lined the cobblestone alley way of our rented loft. Our loft faced the back of a busy restaurant and it was a rare experience for us to be able to gleam restaurant life from their back door.
Love the Spanish colonial neighborhoods in San Juan.
A refreshing local drink that is often sold by street vendors was Agua Frescas literally translated means "Fresh Waters" A blend of pureed fruit, water, a squeeze of lime juice and a hint of sugar. To say these refreshing drinks were delicious would be an understatement. They were thirst quenching in the tropical heat of the afternoon.
You can easily make Agua Frescas at home and any ripe fruit is fair game. My favorite on the island was a watermelon fresca which I enjoyed immensely.
Watermelon-Lime Agua Fresca
2 pounds seedless watermelon
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup or agave nectar
For the simple syrup: Mix 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and simmer without stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs ( e.g basil or mint). Let steep for 15 minutes until flavor has infused the syrup.
Blend all ingredients, adjusting sweetness as needed. Strain through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth (optional). Serve over ice.