Jibarito

The jibarito (pronounced hee-bah-ree-to), a specialty of Chicago, Illinois, is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato.

The original jibarito had a steak filling, and that remains the usual variety, but other ingredients, such as chicken and pork, are common.

History

Chicago restaurateur Juan "Peter" Figueroa introduced the jibarito at Borinquen Restaurant, a Puerto Rican restaurant, in 1996, after reading about a Puerto Rican sandwich substituting plantains for bread. The name is a diminutive of jibaro and means "little yokel."

The sandwich's popularity soon spread to other Latin-American restaurants around Chicago, including Mexican, Cuban and Argentinian places, and jibaritos now can be found in some mainstream eateries as well.

Related sandwiches

Other Latin American sandwiches served on fried plantains predate the jibarito. They include a Venezuelan specialty called a patacones and a 1991 invention by Jorge Muñoz and Coquí Feliciano served at their restaurant, Plátano Loco, in Aguada, Puerto Rico.
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