I thought it would be first important to take about the origin of Ropa Vieja. Many think it to come from Cuba but in all actuality it came from Spain’s Canary Islands. Ropa vieja originated in the Canary Islands (Spain), which were the last place ships from Spain would stop on the way to the Americas. They were also the first place that Spanish ships coming from the Americas would stop en route back to Spain. Due to this, Canarian culture is very similar to the Caribbean as well as Spain. This is how ropa vieja arrived in the islands; with the Canarian immigrants. The original version of ropa vieja contained leftovers, but later became a shredded meat dish with chickpeas and potatoes in the Canary Islands.
I find this really interesting because well I find pirates astounding. The TV shows, the movies and the real stories of horror. Ships are also fascinating to me. To think if you were on a ship for months at a time and then you get to port to eat some ropa vieja. That must have been a joy for those sailors. It is definitely one of my favorite dishes from the Mediterranean region.
They even have a story about ropa vieja. As the oldest story goes is a man whose family was coming to his home for dinner. Being very poor, the man could not buy them enough food when they came. To remedy his situation, he went to his closet, gathered some old clothes (ropa vieja) and imbued them with his love. When he cooked the clothes, his love for his family turned the clothes into a wonderful beef stew. How interesting what love can do right? I am entering this recipe as a part of a contest so I here is to hoping that I win!Print