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The Food and Drink of Mexico (1964) – Arroz con Piña / Rice with Pineapple

April 6, 2012

Booth, George C.  The Food and Drink of Mexico. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie, 1964.  P. 18. [TX716 .M4 B6 1964]

By Kelley Klepper, an undergraduate nutrition student at UTSA.

The Food and drink of Mexico by George C. Booth (1964)

Arroz con Piña (Rice with Pineapple – also titled “Exotic Rice” in book)

  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground clove
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ tbs. wine vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups ground, cooked ham
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet pepper
  • 1 ½ tsps. Prepared mustard
  • 2 tsps. Cooking oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Sauté the rice gently in oil, until it barely changes color, then add half the pineapple juice and enough water to barely cover everything. Bring the mixture to boil and immediately change to the lowest heat. Continue to cook while covered until dry (approximately half an hour).
  2. In a separate dish sauté the ham and sweet pepper. Add the other ingredients, including the remaining pineapple juice and cook slowly for 12 minutes.
  3. Turn out the rice on a platter and serve the sauce over the top. Everything needs to be hot at moment of serving. Yields six helpings.

Arroz con Piña (Rice with Pineapple)

Arroz con Piña (Rice with Pineapple)


While not a chef nor an expert, I’ve spent a fair amount of time cooking in the kitchen and am pretty familiar with the basics. This recipe, with the exception of a few minor hiccups, was followed according to the directions stated and came out tasting pretty good. I chose it because of unusual ingredients, such as the pineapple juice and cloves.

 knew the recipe was going to come out differently that I had expected from the beginning. After browning the rice and adding the pineapple juice, I covered the rice with the water as stated in the directions. From previous cooking experiences, I knew that cooking rice typically requires a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. Thus, when only 2 cups of water were needed to cover up the 1½ cups of rice, I suspected trouble ahead but decided to follow the recipe anyway. The result was my rice being undercooked; it started to brown and became crunchy in about 15 minutes instead of the 30 minutes as listed in the recipe. In order to make the rice edible, I added about 1½ more cups of water to moisten it. Perhaps more exact measurements would be helpful to aid others in perfecting this dish.

Although listed under the category of “sopas” in the book, this certainly did not come out as soupy as one would expect by modern cooking standards[1] The ham and sweet peppers sauce was delicious, but certainly could have used more liquid to be absorbed by the dry rice. All in all I found this to be quite a good dish and certainly not one that I would expect to have been Mexican in origin.

[1] Librarian’s Note: Mexican cookbooks often include both wet and “dry” soups (rice and pasta dishes) in the category of “sopas.”

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