We all know and love JLo and for decades she’s been dominating the charts with hit singles and albums that are an iconic part of pop culture. But behind closed doors, the 52-year-old singer and actress has always tried to stay grounded and live a simpler life away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. She loves comfort food and even though her rigorous schedule demands healthy eating, she has vowed never to deprive herself of food but eat wholesome, balanced meals instead.

In a recent interview with Vogue, she mentions that her favourite holiday is Christmas and the reason for that is she gets to meet her family to hang out and cook some traditional Puerto Rican fare. Here are some of the dishes that appear on her Christmas table every year.

Pasteles

This dish is native to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and is most often made around Christmas. They are savoury pockets made from green plantain masa and stuffed with pork and adobo. They are then wrapped in green banana leaves and boiled, steameed or pressure cooked. 

Arroz Con Gandules 

The national dish of Puerto Rico, Arroz Con Gandules is another festive speciality. A rice dish made with pigeon peas and pork, it’s most commonly served as a side dish along with roast pork (pernil) or other meats, but is hearty and comforting enough to be the main event. 

Pernil

The star of any Puerto Rican Christmas feast this slow-roasted pork shoulder is made with fresh notes of orange, slow marination and an even slower cook so that the meat is tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. 

Coquito

A holiday beverage, Coquito translates to ‘little coconut’ in Spanish and is also sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican Eggnog. It’s made with vanilla, coconut milk, coconut cream, rum and spices. 

Which of these Puerto Rican delicacies would you like to add to your own Christmas menu?