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August 07, 2007

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Nobody has comments about Spanish Caribbean cooking? Nor culinary recommendations? On _this_ blog?

And what is it with croquetas and the Netherlands? Inquiring minds would really like to know.

Well, the croquette was originally French. That kind of explains its distribution in Iberia and the Netherlands, and, well, most other places. I have no idea why the Dutch in particular took it so closely to heart. It's like Currywurst in Germany: huh?

Chicken croquettes used to be a big Good Housekeeping style dish in the U.S., not so much any more. We've moved away from a lot of breaded entrees, perhaps for health reasons, or perhaps because it gets in the way.

Interesting partial exception: the cutlet. The whole breaded cutlet thing so popular in the Balkans is originally from Milan, where the Austrians picked up the recipe (dates differ: some say Radetsky, some say earlier) and brought it back to Vienna -- e.g., Wiener Schnitzel -- and then spread it around their own sphere of influence. There are several theories how it came to the U.S. as chicken-fried steak.

Chicken parmigiana doesn't need much of an explanation (although it's not from Parma), although chicken francese does: it seems to be U.S. red sauce restaurant in origin, and they gave it that name to class it up.

As for food of the Spanish Caribbean that ain't a grilled ham and cheese with a pickle and a mojito? I got nothing.

just found the blog tonight, and bravo on your descriptions of the locales that you have encountered. you write how i would write given the same scenario ... very setting- and detail-oriented.

keep up the good work; i have a lot of archived posts to catch up on!

Comida criolla is filling and tasty, but after the first couple of months, it's background. Mofongo, by the way, is African in origin. You can make it with plaintains (like here in PR) or with lots of other starchy veggies. Where did I just have mofongo? It was to die for, but now I can't remember where we got it... Damn. OH yeah, it was that place out by Wal-Mart. Really expensive, so we won't be going back (can't afford it) but man, they had great mofongo.

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