Traveling abroad is always an exciting experience. You get to see new surroundings, enjoy a different climate and culture, meet some new, interesting people and so much more. Naturally, when we travel, we tend to take a lot of pictures and create everlasting memories, but that’s not all we do. More often than not, we bring home souvenirs.
Souvenirs are great. You can collect them or gift them as presents to your loved ones. Either way, they’re there to remind you of those wonderful times when you were visiting an exotic island or a foreign country.
Today, we’re going to take a look at what you should bring home as a souvenir if you’re visiting Puerto Rico. Let’s get started.
If you’re someone that enjoys a little bit of nostalgia in their lives and is fond of some old-school décor – hand-crafted and painted plates from Puerto Rico might just be the right fit for you. Of course, you wouldn’t serve food in these. They would either hang on the wall or sit in a display cabinet. Either way, adding a few plates with motifs of sandy beaches, local birds or ladies can be a great addition to your, we’d assume, already impressive decorative plate collection.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you’re in Puerto Rico is that they enjoy their food very much and that their cuisine is quite spicy and hot, most of the time. Pique is a Puerto Rican condiment, hot sauce to be exact and over there it’s as common as ketchup is in the USA. This lovely hot sauce is made from a few different peppers and garlic and it’s unmistakeably Puerto Rican. We’d suggest buying a few of these – as you probably won’t be able to resist eating it from time to time.
Coffee was one of Puerto Rico’s top exports for ages. However, things took a turn for the worse for some time and a lot of coffee plantations and farms went out of business. Fortunately, in recent years, things have changed and nowadays there are a lot of local, small farms and plantations that grow their own coffee. So, if you’re a coffee-lover, make sure you bring home a bag or two, so you can enjoy some of the flavours of Puerto Rico even when you get home.
As we said previously, Puerto Rico is famous for its spicy cuisine. Now, we’ve talked about the hot sauce, but what really makes Puerto Rican cuisine stand out is the variety of spices they use. Some of the most common ones on the island are cilantro, orange, lime, mango and all kinds of peppers. So, if you want to relive your memories from this exotic journey when you get home, make sure to stop by the Spicy Caribbee shop in San Juan and try out and purchase as many of these spices as you want.
When you live in a place when the sun never stops shining, you have to take extra good care of your skin. That’s why Caribbean Handmade Soap is very popular in Puerto Rico. Native to the island, these soap bars are made from fresh, natural ingredients like coconut and almond milk. You’ll fall in love with these soap bars pretty quick as they both exfoliate and moisturize your skin. So, when in Puerto Rico, buy a few of these and bring them home with you. And if you forget, don’t worry, you can always pay a visit to www.caribbeansoaps.com and order them online. Maybe they even become your go-to soap bar.
Like in most island cultures, music is a very important aspect of Puerto Rican culture. As you know, many world-famous artists are from Puerto Rico, musicians like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Luis Fonsi – only to name a few. Guiro is a native musical instrument to the island and it comes in various shapes and sizes because it’s made from a hollowed-out gourd. It makes a rasping sound when stroked and is usually played by the lead man in the local band. Guiro can be quite a decorative item in your household and you can even learn how to play if you want to
Rum has always been associated with the Caribbean and Puerto Rico is no exception. You simply can’t visit a Caribbean island and not bring home a bottle of rum. Maybe even a few. Don Q is one of the most popular rum labels in Puerto Rico, but there are a lot of smaller distilleries on the island, so if you’re willing, you can look around in the local shops and find a bottle that’s quite unique and special. If not, Don Q is always a safe bet, as they’re very well-respected all over the globe.
Vejigantes are colourful, decorative masks that are usually sold during the carnival in July. These intriguing, scary and almost clown-like masks can be found in various shapes, colours and sizes. However, what most of them have in common are horns – a lot of them. These masks represent evil – in the everlasting battle of good and evil, which is a common carnival theme in the Caribbean. However, since these masks are made from paper-mache, you should be really careful not to break them during transport.
One of the most popular dishes of Puerto Rico is mashed plantains or mofongo. You can find a version of this dish in pretty much every creole restaurant on the island and you should absolutely try it. Now, to make this traditional dish, you need something to mash the plantains with and that something is called a Pilon. It’s a wooden mortar and pestle, nothing special, but it’s a large part of the Puerto Rican culture which makes it a great souvenir. Also, you can use it to crash all of those wonderful spices you bring home with you.
As you can see, there are many unique things you can bring home from Puerto Rico – you don’t have to settle for fridge magnets. Hopefully, someday when you visit wonderful Puerto Rico, you’ll remember this article and pick up one of these things as a souvenir.