Hi, my name is Ruben Soto and I am thrilled to be able to finally create this blog that I had been thinking about for the longest time. I want this to become the “Top Cuban Food Blog”.
Americans have become fascinated with ethnic foods thanks to social media sites like Tik Tok and Instagram where chefs and regular folks share and showcase traditional foods from around the world.
At La Ventanita in Versailles Restaurant, Miami
I was born in Cuba and I moved to the United States with my family in 1967. My father was a Methodist minister and when the communist regime took over the country, he knew he had to seek asylum to give his family a better future. We flew on a Pan Am jet that took us from Varadero Airport to Miami International Airport.
We spent two months in Miami and then were transferred to New Orleans where my father found work in a factory. It was an entirely new experience for him, but he understood the sacrifice he had to make in order to provide for his family in this new country.
Fortunately, he was hired to pastor a Methodist Spanish-speaking church in a small town in Texas and we moved there six months later. It was a culture shock for us since we were now in a town that was made up of Anglo Americans and Mexican-Americans. We were the only Cuban family in that small town.
The one thing that I fondly remember was looking forward to our dinner time since my mom and dad took turns in preparing the food. And the one thing that they knew how to cook was traditional Cuban food. Skirt steak with onions (palomilla steak), roast pork, black beans and white rice, and tostones; and for lunch sometimes we had eggs with white rice and sweet plantains. I loved my Cuban food, and it was weird for me to see that my young friends in Texas ate different types of foods. It was my first experience with other cultures and my young mind couldn’t comprehend how this was possible. Years later I would come to appreciate different types of foods from around the world. However, my stomach and my “inner being” always longed for a good Cuban meal.
In 1984 I moved to Miami to get to know my Cuban culture better, and more importantly to get to try different types of Cuban food. For the first time in my life, I discovered bistec empanizado (breaded steak), bistec milanesa (milanesa steak), croquetas, pastelitos de guayaba (guava pastries), Cuban coffee, cortaditos, Cuban sandwich, frita (Cuban burger), and so many other delicious entrees that I wasn’t familiar with. Miami has the best Cuban restaurants in the United States since they have kept the recipes that were prevalent in pre-revolution Cuba. There is a significant difference in the Cuban cuisine of post-revolution Cuba since many of the traditional ingredients have not been available to the majority of the population.
And with this blog I want you to learn more about Cuban food and come to appreciate it as much as I do. Maybe you are of Cuban descent and you love Cuban food too – then you will certainly love this blog.
First of all, I want to say that I am not a chef and I don’t know how to prepare many traditional Cuban meals. But I am a great Cuban food eater…lol. And I think that makes me an expert in this cuisine and validates the fact that I can have this blog.
I will share traditional recipes; showcase the Cuban restaurants in the United States and around the world; feature Cuban celebrities and their favorite traditional foods; interview people who love to cook Cuban food; and I will publish anything to do with Cuban cooking and related topics.
I want you, my reader, to thoroughly enjoy the time you spend on this blog. I welcome your constructive comments, and I also welcome your feedback and suggestions.