Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What is it?

Do you know what this is? This is a hand-manufactured Pasteles machine, used to grind up the plantains needed to make wrappers for pasteles. Many of these machines are made here in the basement of Market -- they are powered by washing machine motors!

Pasteles are a traditional item at Christmas time -- different fillings using meat and or vegetables are stuffed into a masa made of plantains, then wrapped in banana leaves. This is all tied up in parchment paper -- to prepare you boil them for about a half hour or steam them (debate is fierce on the "best" way to prepare them). But the finished product is a delicious, labor-intensive seasonal treat that is eaten in great quantity.

Many people learn how to prepare Pasteles by working side by side with their mothers and grandmothers, but if you don't have the time to make them yourselves, many vendors at the Market sell them by the dozen. Pop in and pick some up!

AC Tropical makes and sells hundreds of pasteles every day this time of the year!
This time of the year, we get calls from all over looking to see if we sell these machines, and they sell out within days of being made. Today, as I write this blog, we only have 2 left in the entire market. I have already gotten phone calls from three people asking if we have  them, including one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

I told the vendors they better be busy elves and make a lot more machines to meet the demand.

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