Last month, my family got to meet my sister-in-law’s family for the first time. They recently moved here from Miami to be with their daughter, who is, of course, my sister-in-law. But they were born and raised in Cuba. They came over individually in the 80s and met each sometime later. The rest is history.
My brother and she have been married for 3 years now, and since she’s been a part of the family, I’ve learned a lot about Cuba, past and present. I’ve always had a love for Latin and Hispanic culture, so I loved this opportunity. I fell in love with her parents. We all did. The stories they had to tell, their struggles, their love of America. Her father was political prisoner.
And their FOOD. I realized years ago I LOVE Cuban food, but it’s so hard to come by. Did I mention her dad is actually a chef? Oh yes. We struck gold in the in-law department.
We had a giant feast the first time we met them, a combo of some southern favorites and Cuban specialties. They made lechon (pork) and congri, a rice dish that was AMAZING. And then there are the PLANTAINS, sweet or not, I love them all, but mostly the sweet haha.
Like sweet tea is to the south, so Iron Beer is to Cuba. That and malta, which I tried the traditional way with condensed milk, oh my god.
Her parents said that Southern culture is a lot like Cuban culture, from what they’ve seen so far. And that made me happy. I feel so privileged to be able to experience this, to have the opportunity to live and learn with such amazing people. That day we were all together felt magical. A coming together of two worlds. I can’t wait for future get-togethers and holidays. And to talk with them more about their lives in Cuba, what they did, if they’ll ever go back.