Looking at Puerto Rico’s Food System with New Eyes

I start this post in a plane. This time I am returning to New York after teaching the week-long intensive study abroad course Global Food Cultures: Puerto Rico. The course was a wonderful and rewarding teaching collaboration with fellow NYU professor, Gustavo Setrini. Through months of planning, we successfully combined expertise and interest in different aspects of the food system, and our different experiences in Puerto Rico.

The week started with a traditional meal at La Casita Miramar, followed by an early morning trip to the center of the island. We learned about pineapples, colonial sugar plantation systems, as well as coffee production and tasting. The journey carried on through the food system, continuing with distribution, marketing and consumption. It was amazing to witness the course unfold, and how the connections between the different aspects of the food system fell beautifully into place. Moreover, the experience allowed me to learn about my Puerto Rico through a new sets of eyes – 13 pairs to be exact!

Atenas Pineapple Plantation

Hydroponic Agriculture at the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado

Dairy farm in Hatillo

Departamento de la Comida


Student interaction at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Campus

Tasting and conversation at Verde Mesa in Old San Juan


Visit with Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Mirna Comas.

Urban gardening at the Cano Martin Pena

Enjoying home-made limbers

Fresh carrucho (conch) from La Comay in Loiza

Tasting and conversing at Orujo Taller de Gastronomia in Caguas

Final activity at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados del Caribe in Old San Juan

The week’s activities are documented through individual student essays in the following blog: https://nyufoodstudiespr.wordpress.com/

Read, enjoy and share!