It’s a holiday tradition that goes back more than 500 years: Gathering the family together on Nochebuena — “Good Night’’ in Spanish — and pigging out.
For years, I have been asking for all the recipes that go along with this feast from my family. From beginning to end, beginning with the milky rum drink that we are always greeted with, to the flan that takes us all over the top. This night entices its' guest with about 15 recipes. Nadina, the head of the Cuban side of my husbands family, will not give up the recipes and now I know why. I believe, she, like my Italian grandmother did, held the secrets that beckoned family and friends to their doors. If they gave it away, they believed their family and friends wouldn't have a reason to come back. It guaranteed the family would return, if not only for 1 night.
It is likened to that of turtles returning to their birth place. A genetic coding of sorts that our taste buds drag us back to our origins. More importantly, to the family that prepares it for Nochebuena! Do they not share the secret in fear that the family won’t return?
The passport of this recipe has many stamps , we are going to start with the present , here in Miami, and work backwards. The next stop is Cuba, where so many Spanish families made there new home. Ultimately, we will head to Spain, where this 500 year old tradition has it's roots.
"The Going Home Tour ", will complete that cycle at least for most families in Miami. I am looking for histories and stories of the journey , this feast has taken.
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