1.05.2009

Pasteles are Taino by Roberto Borrero

Of course, pasteles are Taino. What else would they be? Masa from guineo, yuca and yautia with a tasty filling, wrapped in banana leaves with a schmear of achiote, and cooked in a large kettle, couldn't be anything but a Taino delicacy. And, of course, guanimes -- my childhood favorite.

Here's an excerpt from Roberto Múcaro Borrero's Pasteles are Taino:

Even today, making pasteles is still a family affair, for example, your Mom might grate the yucca or guineo, while an aunt will prepare the masa, grandma could be seasoning the meat to perfection, and a cousin can literally wrap the whole process up nicely.

As I understand it, in Boriken, there were at least three and possibly more original “pasteles” - one made from mais (corn), one from yuka, and another from yautia. If you thought you were the only Boricuas making pasteles from yuka, my sisters and brothers, – we Tainos taught you that hundreds of years ago.

In fact, yuka and yautia are Taino words. “Mais” derives from the Taino word maisi. And the Taino word for pasteles made from corn is guanime.
Full article published in La Divina Latina