NOTE: This year for Christmas, we are re-printing this, our very first Christmas edition from 2002. Although at that time we had been running our website for six years, we had a "static" or unchanging homepage, until 2002.
This marked the first year that we changed to a homepage that would be changed every month...
Brothers Ignacio and Rafael Alfonso opened their restaurant, El Artesano in 1974. Located in the heart of Cuban Union City New Jersey, El Artesano is a classic old-line Cuban restaurant. A popular lunch spot, El Artesano makes all of their sandwiches to order, which is the only way to make a Cuban sandwich! The sandwiches here are stuffed with meat and served hot off of the plancha.
El Artesano has several seafood dishes on the menu, great renditions of shrimp and fresh fish, like red snapper... (more)
Heriberto Romeu opened the original Casa Romeu restaurant in San José de las Lajas, a town near Havana. Like many Cubans, he had to abandon everything when he escaped to the United States. Romeu started over again in Miami and the Casa Romeu chain now includes three restaurants, the original Miami Lakes location, one in Hialeah, and the newest restaurant in Broward County... (more)
Cuban author Juan Hernandez has created a wonderful book that captures the many stories of Cuban exiles as they assimilated into American culture.
For someone interested in Cuba and the Cuban experience, this book provides some great insights into the Cuban exile experience. Many of the monologues presented in this book are both sad and funny at the same time...(more)
Everyone in Miami is getting ready for another great Christmas season. For Cubans, the celebration of Christmas is not just one day of the year. A Cuban Christmas celebration is the entire celebration of the birth of Christ up to and including his visit from the Three Wise Men.
The biggest celebrations take place on Christmas Eve night, or Noche Buena. In Miami the night is still celebrated in the traditional way with a huge party, lots of friends and family, and the main attraction: a whole roasted pig.
In backyards all over Miami the men of the family will get up early on Christmas Eve day to light the charcoal and begin the long process of roasting the pig. In our extended family, Raúl is the Master Pig Roaster. He has been doing it every year for many years and his Noche Buena party is the highlight of the year!
The Noche Buena celebration is one event where the Three Guys don't get to do much cooking. Traditionally the men roast the pig and the women of the family prepare all of the side dishes. This is one time of the year where we sit back and let our moms, aunts, wives, daughters, and nieces cook up a storm. If we even try to help, we're likely to get shooed right out of the kitchen! (Besides, we do plenty of cooking the rest of the year, and we do have all of the recipes!)
By late afternoon, you can walk through any neighborhood in Miami and smell the wonderful aroma of roasting pork. Neighbors and friends are welcome to stop by and check on the progress of the pig, drink a beer or some cider, eat fresh chicharrones from the local market and turrones from Spain, talk, laugh, listen to music – well, you get the picture. By early evening, people start arriving for the party and the celebration begins. Nobody leaves the table hungry at a Cuban Noche Buena party!
Food Network Taping
This year, the Food Network is sending a crew to tape our big party! That's right, this will be our THIRD appearance on the Food Network! This show is a Christmas special that will highlight the celebrations of different cultures. We're going to go all out to represent Cuban culture! The show won't be televised until next year around holiday time, so this time we have to wait a full year to see how fat we look on television!
It's not too late to plan your own Cuban Noche Buena party. We have a webpage that tells you everything you need to know. Check it out by clicking here... (more)
Yuca con Ajo is a very traditional dish for Cuban Christmas celebrations. It's delicious, easy to make, very filling, loved by all, (and did we mention that it's really delicious?), so why not plan on featuring it at your Christmas party this year?
We tell you everything you need to know to turn out this delicious dish... (more)
Arroz con Pollo is easy to prepare, and very economical to make. Some of the best dishes include beer – it gives it a great flavor. Arroz con pollo is enjoyed by many Latin cultures. The Cuban version is highly spiced – but NOT spicy hot. It's a favorite Cuban Sunday lunch dish... (more)
The cake is not traditionally Cuban, instead it's another example of the American influence on Cuban cuisine. The cakes of Cuba were originally adapted from American culture.
Early Cuban cake makers picked up most of their knowledge from the United States. The word "torta" used in many Latin countries is not used in Cuba.
Cubans may have gotten their inspiration from the United States, but they soon made many changes and improvements to the traditional American recipes.
The Cuban cake was born, and if you haven't tried one – hey, you're missing out on a great dessert! (more)
Check Out the Back Issues
We have a new home page each month!
Catch up on previous issues by clicking HERE!
Turrones are almond candies imported from Spain and a traditional holiday treat. They come in several flavors including chocolate, nougat, cream-walnut, honey, fruit and egg. These turrones are made with ground Marcona almonds ground blended with orange blossom honey. Hand made in Jijona, Alicante, Spain.
Find out more about these turrones here.
Find out more here.
Find out more here.