Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Pelon- Wooden cup with flower carvings
Pelon- Wooden cup with flower carvings

  When I was younger, my parents both worked full time jobs five days a week., While they were at work, my grandparents babysit us. I vividly remember doing my homework amongst the aroma of whatever my grandma was making for dinner that night. The smell of Sofrito and Puerto Rican goodness stained the house night after night along with the “Pam Pam!” of the Pelon. For as long as I can remember the Pelon has been an essential in our kitchen.   One day I walked into the kitchen and found my grandma pouring a liquified vegetable mix into tiny containers that she placed into a freezer. I remember being quite confused about the situation, so I asked her why she blended vegetables instead of chopping them up. She then explained to me that the blended vegetables are a traditional mix put into almost every Puerto Rican dish called “Sofrito”. During this conversation my grandmother also showed me a Pelon, which is essentially a wooden cup paired with a wooden mallet in which you squish and mush fruits/vegetables. She explained to me that it was a traditional tool used specifically to grind garlic to make Sofrito.   The Pelon is a kitchen tool that is more than just a kitchen tool. The Pelon is a way of keeping tradition in my family, it’s what we hear and think when we look to celebrate. The Pelon is our little way of keeping Puerto Rico in our hearts.

Place(s): Puerto Rico

– Araceli Cantera

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant