The Business Of Culture


Afro-Latino Caribbean culture insists on tasty flavorful food.  One dish required at any meal is the beloved plantain. The plantain’s lure is its ability to be served both as a vegetable and a fruit which is why it reigns supreme in every Latino diet.  From the savory tostones rellenos (stuffed plantains) to pastelon (Caribbean lasagna) or sancocho (stews); the plantain is as versatile as the potato. The plantain is the Caribbean potato!

In either of its forms, the plantain was time consuming and cumbersome to prepare, until now that is…  John Rivera invented Rivera’s Tostonera to revolutionize Latin kitchens; giving cooks the power to make tostones (fried plantains) chips, cups, and slices, with the added convenience of making more than one at a time.

Rivera’s Tostonera is a patented plantain press, invented by John Rivera.  John spent the summers of his childhood in Piñones Puerto Rico, where his family owned a food kiosk on the beach. Growing up he pressed thousand of plantain chips. They had to make the tostones in a fairly primitive manner, mashing them with a can, a brown paper bag or between two pieces of wood one at a time. Today tostones are still being pressed the same way.

So John went to work. “I wanted to create a modern day plantain press that could do more than one chip or cup at a time but could also press slices”.  It took John 52 prototypes, a two year apprenticeship with a Caribbean Executive Chef, and at least 500,000 plantains to get to “Rivera’s Tostonera.” So now John Rivera proudly presents Rivera’s Tostonera, (Patent No. 7,442,025 B2) It shapes plantains into Chips, cups, and slices quickly and efficiently, no muss no fuss and it makes more than one at a time.

After receiving his patent John wrote and photographed a cook book in honor of the plantain. “The Pleasures of Plantains: Plantain Cuisine”. To learn more about John and his inventions check out: RiverasTostonera.com.

Click here to read our spotlight feature on John Rivera.

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