Harvard Square Feature Food: Orinoco’s Datiles

By Dana Ferrante ’17

Chances are, you’ve already walked by Orinoco about 20 times this semester without even knowing it. Located at 56 JFK Street,  it’s not in a place that most people look when trying to find somewhere to eat (i.e. down an alley), but that ends today.

Orinoco boasts an extensive menu of Venezuelan food, so it’s easy to overlook the bacon-wrapped and almond-stuffed dates, or datiles, and go straight for the arepas without giving it a second thought. You’re probably second guessing it right now—what actually is a date? Doesn’t my grandmother eat those? I can eat bacon with fruit?

Put your questions on hold, take a bite, and just enjoy the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The salty bacon and crunchy almonds offset the chewiness and the rich, brown-sugary sweetness of the dates. This dish has it all: flavor, texture and most importantly, the ability to be eaten without silverware. The only downside is that one order only comes with four datiles. Order a dish for your party of four or, better yet, just for yourself, since you probably will not want to share.

Unfortunately, Orinoco does not offer a vegetarian version of this dish (at least that we know of), but luckily another menu item, the maracuchitos (cheese wrapped in sweet plantains) will still give your taste buds a run for their money.

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