Cuban cuisine has chewed its way into South Florida's culture. Many an abuela has shared family recipes for ropa vieja and bistec empanizado, through generations. WLRN wants a seat at your table to hear stories, memories or recipes from your kitchen.
"The maraca sound of steam escaping the pressure cooker" and the aroma of sofrito, the "holy trinity" of vegetables and spices that is fundamental to many Cuban dishes: These are a few of the salient memories of the Cuban kitchen that listeners shared with us. Take a look at the timeline below to read stories about "cake de nata," an industrial-sized flan recipe and more.
Thanks to all who shared your stories and memories with us. Some of the quotes have been altered for length or clarity.
Christina Gomez-Pina (second from left) with her daughter, mother (left), grandmother (second from right) and mother-in-law (right). Gomez-Pina's grandmother holds the copy of Cocina al Minuto that she brought from Cuba.
Nitza Villapol was basically the Julia Child of Cuba. She wrote dozens of editions of her cookbook, Cocina al Minuto, and she hosted a Cuban TV show of the same name for 45 years. In many Cuban kitchens, there's a well-worn copy of one of her cookbooks tucked in a kitchen drawer.
Christina Gomez-Pina, in Kendall, had a copy of the cookbook on her bookshelf. Her mother-in-law gave her Cocina al Minuto on Gomez-Pina's wedding day: "It sat on the shelf for nine years except for one time when I used it to make a dulce de leche cortadito."
What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?
It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.
Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”
Bren Herrera, 34, grew up hearing her mother, Betty, 62, tell stories about life as a young wife and mother in 1960's and 1970's Cuba, when food shortages and rationing were part of life.
They would both laugh over a story about a drunken chicken Betty smuggled into Havana from the countryside. (Below is the full, translated story, as told by Betty Herrera. The story was edited for radio.)
The Tale of the Drunken Chicken
We went to visit friends in Pinar del Rio, in the countryside.
One of Miami's leading theaters was shuttered in 2006, but an effort to revive the Coconut Grove Playhouse has now cleared an important hurdle with the state.
On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet approved a plan from Miami-Dade County and Florida International University to rebuild and reopen the historic Miami theater pending resolution of some outstanding financial debts and claims on the property.
The county's Cultural Affairs Director Michael Spring addressed the Cabinet during a meeting at Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus.
Israel Hernández-Llach was an 18-year-old award-winning artist when he was chased by Miami Beach police officers and tasered for tagging a shuttered McDonald’s. He died soon after the electric probes delivered tens of thousands of volts into his chest.
The taser, a supposedly non-lethal tool of the police, has caused over 500 deaths since 2001 across the United States, according to Amnesty International. Hernandez’s tools of choice: paints, pens, cameras, and objects he found.
Cuban cuisine has chewed its way into South Florida's culture. Many an abuela has shared family recipes for ropa vieja and bistec empanizado, through generations. WLRN wants a seat at your kitchen table to hear your stories of cooking Cuban dishes.
What are your favorite memories of being in, around, or inspired by a Cuban kitchen? Tell us what made them special click here.
Ropa vieja literally means “old clothes.” It’s not the most appetizing name for food, but it fits the dish, a type of beef stew, pretty well. For me, ropa vieja really IS like old clothes—familiar and used endlessly, and comfortable for those very two reasons. It is the dish I grew up with, being the meal my mom best knows how to cook.
Since last summer's launch of the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, in which a talented crew of commissioned artists began painting walls along a three-block stretch of the city, downtown Hollywood has garnered a lot of buzz as a rising cultural district.
So far the mural project, led by the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), has unveiled a new and fresh mural each month by a different artist during the city's artwalk, held on the third Saturday of every month.
Magnolia North is the new name for an area in Opa-locka, which was formerly dubbed The Triangle and known for drugs and crime. Now city leaders hope Magnolia North will be known for galleries and studios and become the next vibrant arts district in South Florida.