I am originally from Cuba and have been living in Tucson for 15 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture engineering and two master’s degrees (the last one from the University of Arizona), but I also love to cook. I have been a food vendor at Tucson Meet Yourself since 2017. I cook traditional Cuban food inspired by great-grandmother, Paula. The recipes I make are the recipes of my childhood memories, when the whole family used to seat at the dinner table on Sundays to enjoy my bisabuela’s dishes.
When I was 5 or 6 years old, I used to spend the whole summers at my maternal grandparents’ house with my older brother. My grandfather used to take us every night, after dinner, to Parque Agramonte, the central park in Camaguey province, to run around and play. I distinctly remember the smell coming from a nearby dulceria where they used to bake the guava pies, polvorones, and cakes for sale the following morning. Needless to say, we always asked our abuelo to buy us sweets every morning! I love baking my own guava pies and polvorones because that smell always takes me back to the park and those warm summer nights with my abuelo in Camaguey.
ROPA VIEJA PLATE, $10: Shredded beef in Cuban style tomato sauce served with white rice and ripe fried plantains
EMPANADAS, $5: Filled with Cuban style ground beef or tofu with vegetables in tomato sauce
FRIED RIPE PLANTAINS, $4
MINI GUAVA PIE, $4
POLVORONES, $3: Shortbread cookies, half a dozen.
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