In September 2020, I spent some time in Puerto Rico to rejuvenate before starting on the journey to invent a burger a week using natural, local ingredients. I was going to relax on the beach and check out local restaurants for food inspiration, and when I shared my plans with some friends, they let me know of a co-op on the island that I may be interested in checking out.
Frutos del Guacabo is a vibrant business dedicated to the production and distribution of specialty agricultural products. On just a few acres, the farmers grow hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables, raise goats, chickens, and rabbits, teach the craft of local food, and sell the highest quality organic foods at their market.
Microclimate farming is really next level
Located close to the beach and on a mountainside, Frutos del Guacabo experiences a year-round natural microclimate. Temperatures do not vary as much as expected, so food can grow longer and stronger.
The farm focuses on specialty foods that are not available from larger companies. My favorites to learn about and taste were the blue thai pea and lemon drop.
Blue thai pea, or butterfly pea, can turn anything blue! Rice, pickled quail eggs, cocktails, and more. In a drink, when the pigment meets acid from citrus, the liquid turns pink. Bartenders in Puerto Rico use this for elegant demonstrations right at the table!
Lemon drop, also known as buzz button flower, originated in Brazil. It produces a flavorful, then numbing, then more flavorful mouth experience – full of direct citrus and strong aromatics. It is used in martinis and other drinks, and before that, it was used as a topical anesthetic in dental procedures!
I really enjoyed learning about sustainable animal practices
The produce at Frutos del Guacabo is healthy and bountiful, and what is leftover gets fed to the animals. Chickens, rabbits, goats, and a horse thrive on the property.
Check out the video tour for more information!
You’ll quickly realize it is incredible how everything on the farm works together. Amaranth plants serving as pest control, wind coverage, grain and garnish harvest, and beauty…chickens doing the housekeeping for goats and horses…goats climbing and hiding on the mountainside…it is truly amazing!!!