Spanish Food and Design Come Together in Miami

Spain’s new international traveling exhibition, "Tapas — Spanish Design for Food," makes its U.S. 15. The art exhibition, which combines food, design, and Spanish culture, is set to be on display in Miami for slightly more than a month, including the week of the popular Art Basel event (Dec. 5 to 8).

Honoring the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León arriving in Florida as the first Spaniard, the exhibition is curated by designer and architect Juli Capella and is presented by Acción Cultural Española, working to promote Spanish culture and heritage worldwide, as well as The Centro Cultural Español en Miami (CCE Miami), SPAIN arts & culture, and the España Florida Foundation.

"Spain chose Miami to premiere 'Tapas' in the U.S. because the global spotlight shines so brightly on this design and food destination, especially as its season takes off during Art Basel Week," Acción Cultural Española's CEO, Elvira Marco, said in a press release. "This new, international traveling cultural experience from Spain aims to engage and mix with the international design and food influences converging in Miami for the love of art."

The art show is exploring the relation between design, food, and culture in Spain, and will take up 8,000 square feet with more than 200 exhibits, displays, and installations by Spanish chefs, designers, architects, wineries, and restaurants. The exhibition covers "the last 25 years of Spain’s avant-garde experimental blending of design and food," and will also feature legendary Spanish culinary icons, including the paella pan and traditional wine pitchers, such as the porrón.

Another interesting element to the show is the way the different displays and installations are presented, split up into three distinct elements:

1. The Kitchen (preparation and utensils)

2. The Table (objects used to sample food)

3. The Meal (food design)

"Tapas" offers a contemporary perspective on design’s influence in Spain’s culinary world via a number of designs produced exclusively for leading restaurants such as elBulli, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz. Through an audiovisual presentation, visitors will also get insight into interior design in selected Spanish restaurants, and a presentation of wineries from across Spain, which stand out for the quality of their architectural designs, including designs by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Rafael Moneo.

Spanish Food and Design Come Together in Miami - Recipes

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Featured Items is a nationwide bilingual online grocery store for hard to find authentic Mexican food, cooking utensils, Mexican food recipes, cooking tips, cookbooks, health & nutrition items, religious goods & Mexican Cheese delivered to your door. Since we launched our business in the year 2000, we have sold to over 15,000 cities in all 50 US states, APO/FPO Military addresses, Puerto Rico and Canada. Today, we offer more than 3,000 specialty Mexican products from imported and national leading Mexican food brands and Latin products. is the largest online Mexican grocery store for authentic Mexican foods, our selection and value provides a rich resource for consumers, Mexican chefs and Mexican restaurants. We also offer a large selection of Mexican gift packages, authentic lava rock molcajete (mortar and pestle) and a wide variety of gourmet food products. Try the new avocado hot sauce, and it's bigger size available as well.

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The comparison of morcilla and Spanish chorizo is an obvious one because both are products of the Spanish tradition of a pig's annual slaughter. Both types of sausage consist largely of ground pork, mixed with salt and other seasonings—especially paprika—piped into a casing to cure. But there are also significant differences. The biggest one is blood: Pig's blood is an essential ingredient in morcilla and has a major impact on its taste, appearance, and consistency, whereas blood is not a factor in chorizo. While both undergo a curing process (morcilla is usually briefly boiled first), the aging period is much longer for chorizo than it is for morcilla, which raises another significant difference: Whereas Spanish chorizo is usually sliced thin and eaten much like an Italian salami, morcilla is only semi-cured and therefore must be cooked before eating, either on its own or as an ingredient in other preparations. This aging difference also means that while chorizo can last almost indefinitely, becoming harder and drier the more it ages, morcilla must be cooked (or frozen) within a fairly short time. Finally, while chorizo consists principally of pork, salt, and other seasonings, morcilla has a number of other ingredients added to it, depending on where it comes from, such as rice, onions, pine nuts, squash, or potatoes, and these things obviously have an impact on its flavor, consistency, and usage.

Spain's regional cuisines are extraordinarily diverse, and morcilla, which is made throughout the country, offers an excellent example. While the "nose-to-tail" gastronomic philosophy of minimizing food waste and eating local is a constant, the flavor and texture profiles differ from place to place. And these variations reflect each regions' agriculture and history, whether it is the local onions that are the prominent ingredient or the spices that remained after the Middle Eastern rule of Spain dissolved.

One of the most highly regarded versions of morcilla is the one from Burgos, a city in the autonomous community of Castile and León in northwestern Spain, where the sausage has a cylinder or football shape and is filled with ground pork, onion, garlic, sweet and spicy paprika, oregano, pig’s blood, and rice. A variety that does not include rice, found mostly in areas of central Spain, has a softer, creamier texture. Certain regions add clove and/or cinnamon to the recipe, which significantly alters its flavor profile, and others use pine nuts or squash in place of rice, which changes the texture and flavor of the sausage. Morcilla from the northern parts of Spain is usually the mildest, while the spiciest version is from the Valencia region. Morcilla from the coastal region of Asturias typically has a smoky flavor because, due to the wet climate, the blood sausage is often left to cure inside fireplaces rather than in the open air.

In western Spain, in the autonomous community of Extremadura, there is a blood sausage called morcilla patatera that is made with mashed potatoes, resulting in a creamy, moist interior. And in the city of Seville, there is another very popular version called morcilla dulce where the sausage is sweet and served raw as a tapa.

Trove Of Recipes Dating Back To Inquisition Reveals A Family's Secret Jewish Roots

Genie Milgrom, pictured in 2013, stands in the entryway of her Miami home wrapped in a long family tree, filled with the names of 22 generations of grandmothers. Raised Catholic, Milgrom traced her family's hidden Jewish roots with the help of a trove of ancient family recipes written down by the women of her family over generations. Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images hide caption

Genie Milgrom, pictured in 2013, stands in the entryway of her Miami home wrapped in a long family tree, filled with the names of 22 generations of grandmothers. Raised Catholic, Milgrom traced her family's hidden Jewish roots with the help of a trove of ancient family recipes written down by the women of her family over generations.

Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

With the holidays approaching, it's the time of year for families to come together and share their traditions. But which traditions?

In a trove of old family recipes, Genie Milgrom found clues that led her to Inquisition-era Spain and her family's hidden Jewish heritage. Milgrom is a Cuban-American, now 65, who was raised a devout Catholic. Several years ago, when her Mom became ill, Milgrom went through her things and found a collection of recipes that had been recorded and handed down by generations of aunts and grandmothers. Some of the recipes traced all the way back to Inquisition-era Spain and Portugal.

At her home in Miami, Milgrom pulls some of the recipes from a shelf. Many are written on yellowed paper in faded ink. "You can see old handwriting and little snippets of paper," she says. "So this was just pages and pages and hundreds of these. . Some are just crumbling."

As a girl, Milgrom says her maternal grandmother taught her some of the family's food customs. Many years later, she realized they revealed their secret Jewish roots.

"In the Jewish dietary laws, we're not allowed to consume any blood," she says. "So she taught me how to check for blood in the eggs. You never pour them directly into a recipe."

Milgrom says her grandmother also insisted she learn another family custom that involved burning a small bit of bread dough in the oven. She says, "Jewish women, when they make the bread for Friday nights, they take a little bit of the dough and they burn it like an offering and say a blessing in the oven. And you always have to have five pounds of flour to do this." Her grandmother, she says, didn't teach her to say a blessing. "But she taught me to always bake with five pounds and to always take a little bit and burn it in the back of the oven."

Milgrom has a big personality, short black hair, a permanent smile, and she's constantly in motion. On this day, she has prepared one of the most unusual recipes she uncovered, a sugary dessert called "chuletas," the Spanish word for pork chops.

"It's designed to look like a pork chop," Milgrom explains, "but it's really made from bread and milk." Basically, it's French toast that's fried in the shape of a pork chop and dressed up with tomato jam and pimentos.

Among the family recipes handed down to Milgrom is chuletas, the Spanish word for pork chops. Made from bread and milk, the dish is basically French toast that's been fried in the shape of a pork chop and dressed up with tomato jam and pimentos. Crypto-Jews would have eaten it so that their Catholic neighbors and employees would not suspect they still kept their faith in secret. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

Among the family recipes handed down to Milgrom is chuletas, the Spanish word for pork chops. Made from bread and milk, the dish is basically French toast that's been fried in the shape of a pork chop and dressed up with tomato jam and pimentos. Crypto-Jews would have eaten it so that their Catholic neighbors and employees would not suspect they still kept their faith in secret.

Jewish dietary laws forbid the consumption of pork, so these chuletas were eaten as a sort of cover, she explains. "It was the kind of thing that the crypto-Jews had to be eating to disguise to their neighbors and to the people who worked for them that they were [not, in fact,] eating pork." In 15th century Portugal and Spain and later, Milgrom says Jews would burn a pork chop in the fire so that their homes smelled like pork while they ate these chuletas.

Those recipes helped confirm something she'd long suspected — that she was descended from Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism more than 500 years ago during the Inquisition. Some of these converts, called crypto-Jews, secretly continued to adhere to Judaism.

From the time she was very young, Milgrom says she never felt like she fit in. She attended Catholic schools and a Catholic university and married young. But throughout her life, she always felt drawn to the Jewish faith. When her marriage ended after 20 years, she decided to convert to Judaism. "I have always felt Jewish," she says. "Whether its epigenetics, it's in my head, it's in my brain, it's in my soul — not getting religious about this, whatever it is, I am where I belong right now."

Milgrom says her mother and others in her family weren't happy when she decided to convert. But a turning point came when her grandmother died. Her mother insisted on burying her the very next day. It was a family custom she said, consistent with Jewish tradition but unusual for Catholics.

After the burial, Milgrom says her mother gave her a box that her grandmother had wanted her to have. "I opened the box and it was an earring with a Star of David in it and a hamsa, which is an artifact that we wear that is like the Hand of God," Milgrom says, "That is what started me deep into searching my genealogy because in death, she sent me the message, we were Jews."

Unique Recipes and Stories from the Times of the Crypto-Jews During the Spanish Inquisitions

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Milgrom has written several books about her journey. Her latest is a cookbook, Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers. Her research took her to her family's ancestral village, Fermoselle, on the border between Spain and Portugal. Working with local historians there, she found evidence that until the Inquisition, the town had been Jewish.

But it was in the Inquisition records housed in Lisbon that she found what she was looking for. In the 16th and 17th generations on her mother's side, the records showed her grandmothers were Jewish. "I finally succeeded in going back 22 generations," Milgrom says. Through her research, she's traced her Jewish roots back to 1405 on her maternal lineage and back even further, to 1110, on her father's side.

She says the records show 45 of her relatives were actually burned at the stake for being Jews. It's a reminder of why her family hid their Jewish customs and centuries later, were still reluctant to talk about them. Milgrom, however, does talk about her heritage and travels around the world speaking about what it means to be a crypto-Jew.

At the launch of her new cookbook at the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach, she was introduced by Tudor Parfitt, a professor of Jewish studies at Florida International University. Parfitt says especially in Latin America, there's a growing number of people who believe they have Jewish ancestry.

"Genie's a very good example of the phenomenon," he says. "But the phenomenon is very widespread and involves perhaps hundreds of thousands or millions of people."

There are communities with crypto-Judaic roots throughout Latin America. Milgrom, who's active on social media, says she receives between 200 and 400 emails every month from people around the world who are investigating their Jewish roots. Not everyone wants to convert to Judaism, she says many just want to know their family's history.

"To me, this is not really too much about changing the religion." She says it's more about "righting a historical wrong and being able to say, 'OK, my ancestors were Jewish.' And a lot of people are proud of that."

Finding your Jewish roots is difficult, Milgrom says, because so much of crypto-Jewish history was deliberately erased, often by the families themselves. That's why the recipes are so special, she says. "When I saw them, I said, 'If these grandmothers carried these around for centuries, then it's my duty to honor the fact that they found that it was a treasure to save."

In addition to her new cookbook, Genie Milgrom is part of a group working to digitize the records of Inquisition tribunals in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Peru and other countries. She hopes making those records available on the Internet will help others trace their family roots and uncover five centuries of suppressed Jewish history.

Best Cuban and Latin Restaurants from Coast to Coast

The Three Guys From Miami have put together a list of their favorite Cuban and Latin restaurants and bakeries in cities across the United States. Although the restaurant quality can vary from merely good all the way up to outstanding, you won't find any BAD restaurants on this website!

Step 1: Choose the Tortillas

Technically the first step in making enchiladas is choosing a recipe and rounding up your ingredients. If you want to make chicken enchiladas, check out this recipe for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. If you want to learn how to make beef enchiladas, try this simple Beef Enchiladas recipe.ꂯter deciding on a recipe, it&aposs time to choose the tortillas.

Corn tortillas are traditional for enchiladas, but flour tortillas also work. Choose 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas or 6-inch corn tortillas—they fit best in most pans. Recipes vary, but for a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish, you will need about eight flour or corn tortillas.

Get colorful! Try purple corn tortillas in this enchilada casserole. Or learn how to make enchiladas using made-from-scratch tortillas with this recipe for homemade corn tortillas. For next-level enchiladas, make naturally-colored tortillas at home.

Test Kitchen Tip:਌orn tortillas are more pliable and easier to roll if heated first. Wrap them in foil and bake in a 350ଏ oven for 10 minutes.

Recipe Summary

  • Herb Blend:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Paella:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 (4-ounce) slice prosciutto or 33%-less-sodium ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves cook 5 minutes. Add rice cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

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From Publishers Weekly


"Equally lively follow-up to their first book includes numerous color food photographs and Miami scenes. Recommended for most collections." -- Library Journal, September 2006

"If you liked their first book, you're going to love this one!" --, October 2006

"Miami masters of fun, good times, and easy to do Cuban." -- Southern Living Magazine

(a) delightful collection of Cuban food recipes. You might salivate just reading them! -- Pittsburgh Post Gazette

A hearty band of bon vivants offer a delicious array of Cuban-inspired foods accompanied by cultural anecdotes and off-the-wall humor. -- Kirkus Reviews July 1, 2006

Is there a better cuisine to set out to master these days than Cuban? -- Providence Journal

From the Publisher

Imagine all the fun things you can do with three Cuban guys in your kitchen!

OK, if the first three items on your list include mopping the floor, unstopping the disposal, or some scenario that might jeopardize this book's "PG" rating, let us re-direct your imagination.

No, these guys are here to make every day a party at your house with 101 great recipe ideas for all occasions. That's right the Three Guys From Miami will become your new kitchen companions. These wild and crazy guys will show you how you can easily prepare some classic, and some not-so-classic Cuban dishes - all re-interpreted in the Miami style. In no time, you'll be cooking Cuban food that will amaze your family and friends.

In this, a companion book to their immensely popular first book, "Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban," the Guys have created a fun and entertaining guide that will keep you cooking and laughing in the kitchen for years to come.

The 101 recipes in this book are the result of more than 20 years of great Three Guys From Miami parties. You'll find recipes that are suitable for everything from a family dinner, to a small dinner party, to a huge feast for everyone in your social circle.

The best thing is - you don't need a single drop of Cuban blood to add a little Latin spice to your next meal. Yes, you too can get in on all of the action because everyone who buys this book is automatically qualified to be an honorary Cuban any time they feel like cooking Three Guys From Miami style!

From the Author

For more than twenty years, the Three Guys From Miami have been perfecting their Cuban recipes by cooking and eating -- oh yes, a lot of eating -- Cuban food.

The Three Guys from Miami provide Cuban cooking tips and advice for professional and amateur chefs all over the world. Their recipes have been included in several cookbooks, newspapers, and national magazines. They also have made several appearances on the Food Network, were featured in a Public Television documentary, have appeared on the Travel Channel, and are frequent guests on public radio.

From the Inside Flap

From the Back Cover

About the Author

Glenn Lindgren first came to Miami in 1984 and fell in love with the city, the people, and the Cuban culture. A freelance writer by profession, Glenn documents the antics of the Three Guys From Miami™ in books and on the Internet. When not in Miami, Glenn and his wife live in Minnesota with their son and two daughters.

Jorge Castillo came to the United States from Cuba via the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. Jorge and his wife, Mary, live in Miami.

Raúl Musibay is a native Cuban and a full-time resident of Miami. Raúl is the goodwill ambassador of the group. Raúl and his wife, Esther, live in Miami’s Westchester neighborhood.

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