Porotos con riendas

Porotos con riendas y chancho asado
By Wladimir Reyes Alvarez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Several days ago I was chatting online with a friend in Belgium, who is pretty fluent in Spanish. To help her get some practice, we switched our conversation to Spanish as we have done many times before. On this occasion our conversation drifted to the subject of food, and she mentioned a dish called “porotos con riendas”

. That made me perk up my ears, because I had never even heard of it! Of course that meant I had to go do some research after our conversation.

As it turns out, “Porotos con riendas” is a typical chilean dish, which has as its main ingredients beans1 (called “porotos” in Chile) and thin spaghetti or taglierini.

This dish was created in the chilean countryside and originally didn’t include pasta, but strands of pork skin, which were reminiscent of reins2 (“riendas”). This version reminded me of brazilian feijoada. Some speculate that the pork skin strands were substituted by pasta to better suit urban palates, but I still found several recipes online that included some kind of meat in the mixture, like “longaniza”3. If you want to give it a try (and practice your Spanish listening skills at the same time), you can watch a preparation video here. What you will here is chilean Spanish, so keep in mind the differences in pronunciation.

I have to admit, at the beginning where I thought about mixing beans with pasta, the combination didn’t sound appetizing to me at all. However, after learning that there are other ingredients and watching the process, I am now willing to try it out (I may even like it!).

Tell me

Have you ever tried this dish? If so, what did you think?
Do you know of a similar dish, but from another country? what’s the difference?

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  1. Beans seem to be one of the food items with more names in the Spanish language. It probably helps that there are many varieties as well.
  2. Leather straps fastened to each end of the bit of a bridle, to control a horse.
  3. A form of spicy sausage, common in latinamerica.

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