Here’s one of our best Thanksgivings ever. We’re bumping this post up in case you want some great holiday ideas.
This year, Rachel and I were invited to our friend Daisy’s house for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating family traditions, and like many families, Daisy Martinez’syearly observance of the holiday is one of integrating her American-ness with her cultural identity, which is Puerto Rican and Latino.
Turkey (“Pavo” in Latin-American Spanish) the iconic American centerpiece of Thanksgiving, has also been integrated into Puerto Rican culture as Pavochon, which was probably created by New York Puerto Rican immigrants (“Newyoriquens“) between 50 and 70 years ago as an affordable substitute for roast pork, or Lechon, for Christmas.
Like Lechon, Pavochon is rubbed with a garlic, salt/pepper and oregano wet adobo and marinated for over 24 hours and then roasted. This one was marinated for 48. In the last half a century, Pavochon has since been imported back to Puerto Rico, is a popular dish eaten throughout the year and is served alongside Lechon in the central Guavate region.
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It turned out my friend and food writer Pedro Espinosa Silva, who was formerly the Spain host and manager at eGullet, had sent me a generous present thanking me for sending him some wireless computer equipment that he had paid for in the US but needed to have sent abroad last spring.
Like Daniel Jackson, the archeologist and linguistics expert on Stargate SG-1, I tried to figure out what all of these contents meant. I could identify most of it — Extra Virgin Single Estate Olive Oil, Spicy and Sweet Spanish Paprika, White Asparagus, Sea Urchin Pate, and Mancha-grade Spanish Saffron. But sealed meats and the beans I couldn’t figure out what they were for, until I sprung this by fellow foodie Sam Kinsey, who immediately identified its contents, and I did some reading on Wikipedia. Yes, these things could be used to make Tapas, but specifically, Pedro was sending me a message… he wants me to make Fabada Asturiana.
The beans, it turns out, are Fabes de Granja, Asturian White Beans, and the sausages are Chorizo and Morcilla (blood sausage). The long pork meat is bacon, to be simmered in the dish. I’m guessing the other type of ham is a bonus, to be eaten as tapas.
Well I guess I know what I’m making this thanksgiving to go with the turkey! Fabada and tapas!