The challenge is finding hard, green bananas, not yet ripened. Calabaza, the pumpkin of the Caribbean. Yautia, mistakenly called white yam. Recaito, cilantro, ajicitos dulce. Achiote. Parchment paper. Picnic pork.
The remaining ingredients can be found at any supermarket: tomato sauce, capers, stuffed olives, roasted peppers, onions, green peppers, garlic, garbanzos, corn oil, kitchen string.
Season pork. Cook slowly until the meat softens and sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable mass. The toughest part is grating the bananas, calabaza and yautia. Fingernails break, knuckles scrape and often bleed.
It literally takes sweat, blood, and tears to make Puerto Rican pasteles.