26684 margarita rd #101
Born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico I was raised with the distinct flavors of my islands traditional cuisine. Food plays a central role in family life and traditions in the islands. Caribbean cuisine is much like a cultural patchwork quilt, where each â€œpatchâ€ or dish represents the plentiful bounty of the islands' lush tropical vegetation that has combined with the diversity of the people on the island. This diversity includes the original Taino Indian culture which merged with the Spanish, British, French and Dutch settlers, as well as Africans; all having a profound influence on the food and cultural traditions of the island. A typical meal consisted of a meat as the main course, rice and beans and some type of side called a vianda (such as yuca, malanga or plantains).
Smoking of meat has been practiced for ages. Perhaps the most famous "smokers of meat" were the Caribbean natives who smoked it on a rack over a smoky fire, using a setup they called "barbacoa" (one possible etymological origin of barbecue). Smoked meats from the southern United States, also known as Barbecue or BBQ were developed to use the "cheaper" cuts of meats, as they were typically tough and deemed "undesirable". Usually done in a "low temp" environment (200 Â°F to 300 Â°F), they take a significant amount of time to prepare, which breaks down the connective tissues and collagens within the meat, and renders out of the fat. The low temperatures and slow cooking methods tenderize the meat producing cuts that are a sought after delicacy.
Relocating to Southern California from the Southeast, I realized how much I missed the foods typically found on my island, known as comida criolla and the delicious flavors I had come to love from the South. So began my culinary journey by merging the two cuisines creating a mouthwatering blend of traditional Smoke house and Caribbean delicacies.
â€œThe secret ingredient is loveâ€