Do you remember that scene in the movie Ratatouille when the food critic tries the ratatouille that Remy, the rat, made? You can see in his face and eyes that that ratatouille he ate right there, in that moment, was the best food he had tasted since his childhood.
Like the food critic, I also had a food vision. My vision of being in Cuba, eating all the food with the sweet and spicy flavors mixing together to create the perfect dish.
Before trying Cuban food, I had heard of it, but no one ever told me how mouth-watering delicious it is. The dishes I tried were filled with flavors that I have never even thought existed. I know lemon and garlic mixed together is a pretty good combination, but mixing vinegar and olive oil with it to make it into a dipping sauce took it to the next level of food heaven.
Until I tried Moro’s Cuban Restaurant, I had not lived. Looking through the menu, I thought nothing on this menu looked appetizing. The plantains and the mojo sauce seemed nasty. I also didn’t realize why plantains are a part of every Cuban dish. Upon further examination of the menu, I saw something I might like. It was something like chicken and rice (tried to play it safe), and then I remembered, I’m here to try new food. I decided to ask the waitress for the most Cuban food there.
The appetizer I had was Yuca al Mojo de Ajo. It’s four pieces of fried cassava with that delicious lemon garlic dipping sauce. It kind of tasted like a thick french fry, but better. With that first bite of real Cuban food, I knew that this food was going to be amazing.
I was really excited to try my main dish, which was called Ropa Vieja. It was a weird name since it directly translates into “Old Clothes.” However, the waitress said that this was a common Cuban dish, and it’s a good starter for those trying Cuban food for the first time. I was really excited because it was the first time I had had meat on a Friday since Lent ended. The plate consisted of braised marinated beef in a Cuban tomato sauce. I saw the picture, and it looked good, but I still had my hesitations because I saw that it had tomatoes in it, and I don’t like tomatoes. That first bite changed my life. The dish itself was so savory and had the perfect amount of spice, but at the same time had a tinge of sweetness. The tomato sauce mixed with the rice kind of tasted like Spanish rice – a familiar taste that always brings me back home.
Cuban food was the best food I’ve had so far on this journey. It’s delicious, and everyone needs to try it. I know I’ll be coming back for more. I just hope that the next dish I eat will be as good as Cuban food.
All images my own.
GIF courtesy of Tenor.