Culture, Cuba and Corn Chowder


I don’t know a lot about other countries, but if you are like me, you may have friends whose families are not from the US. I love that this blog entices me to learn about different cultures. Plus, I am broadening my scope about food. I thought I knew a lot about the world until my friend’s son, who at one time when he was 6-years-old, memorized every capital of each country in the world!

While I may not know the capitals, I feel like I have a head start. My godson’s family is from Africa, and my god-daughter’s family is from Mexico. I’ve also shared a meal with many people from all over the world including Germany, England, Australia, Mexico, South America, Africa, South Africa, Italy, Canada and unless I visit those places, I am pretty limited in my knowledge of the world. My experience is to stay comfortable with what I know, yet, sharing a meal together has a way of bringing people closer.

Cooking has helped enlarge my myopic view of the world. India, our first country, gave us the opportunity to see and “do” things far away, even if we stayed in our home. Our family chose Cuba as the next “destination” to learn about -(it got the most votes when we pulled Cuba out of the hat against 6 other countries). Needless to say, there was much excitement to learn about a new culture.

I hope you’ll join me in the adventure as I learn how to cook food and foster a new appreciation for a place that is so close, but remote for so many reasons. I hope this blog will be a place to bridge two cultures. What I will not attempt to do is change the system or argue politics about what could have been, only bring our family a little closer while eating and learning.

Thanks to my lovely friend Chrisy, (in the picture to the left-a fabulous photographer), who gave me a list of at least 30 kinds of food that she and her family love. With those foods in mind, some of the recipes will be coming from a book my neighbor loaned me called “The Columbia Restaurant” by Adela Hernandez Gonzmart and Ferdie Pacheco. This cookbook is a legacy to Adela’s grandfather who emigrated from Cuba to Florida 90 years ago and in 1905 opened a café selling soups, sandwiches and coffee.

I am enthusiastic to read about the food and history of Cuban food, especially things like the sustainable urban gardening (a-lot like community gardens in the U.S.) that Cuba has worked hard to offset food shortages. Perhaps that is why this week I picked some simple meals to get me started. You will find a link in my blogroll for recipes(not necessarily from the book) of Cuban features. Here is the 5 day menu:

Guiso de Maiz~~~Corn Chowder Cuban Style

Picadillo~~Cuban Beef Hash

Pollo al Diablo~~Chicken Diablo with yellow rice

Paella Habana~~Paella Havana

Arroz con Frijoles Negroes~~Blace  Beans and Rice

Hasta luego-until later!



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