Posted January 29, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Culture.
If you love Cuban Black Beans, Chili Cubano and other authentic recipes from Old Havana, you’ll love what Old Havana Foods offers at it’s newly launched website at Old Havana Foods.
Just in time for the ‘Big Game’ this weekend, North American food lovers can enjoy Cuban Black Beans, Chili Cubano and other great authentic Cuban food recipes from Old Havana. The people at Old Havana Foods say they’ve found a way to recreate the Cuban food experience. “If we can’t go to the island,” says company founder Julian Eduardo Crews, “why not bring the island to us?” And that’s exactly what this specialty-food entrepreneur is doing—bringing his family’s famous Old Havana classics to hungry consumers.
The story begins in the late 1800’s, when Crews’ great-grandfather perfected his slow-cooked method for Cuban black beans - or frijoles negros - as its called in Cuba. Using premium, all-natural ingredients, Julio Rivero developed a one-of-a-kind seasoning or “sofrito.” The secret to his tantalizing flavor were sweet onions, sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil, freshly-pressed garlic, a dozen Caribbean spices and peppers, raw cane sugar and a splash of vermouth. The end result was an Old Havana sensation!
Now, a new generation is making it exactly the way Julio did. Crews is spillin’ the beans on the family’s famous specialties - launching a colorful Chicago-based food company. Old Havana Foods offers a savory variety of all-natural, easy-to-prepare stovetop meals. Ready in minutes! As easy as Uno, dos, tres!
Starting from scratch, it would take the better part of two days to prepare authentic frijoles negros at home. But Crews’ found a way to make it easy. Using age-old methods and fresh ingredients - Crews’ Old Havana kitchen is bottling the magic, offering the world’s first gourmet, ready-to-eat Cuban food.
Nobody knows Cuban black beans better than the 46-year-old Crews. The veteran Chicago newsman has travelled to Cuba on multiple assignments—tasting beans from the very best Havana hotels and restaurants. And he’s sampled the best Miami could offer. “Nothing can touch my family’s famous recipes—on either side of the Florida Straits,” he says with a smile. “We make the best Cuban-style food you’ll find anywhere. And I’m in the heart of bean country - here in the Midwest. A lot of people don’t know that the heartland is where they grow the very best “frijoles negros.” And there’s no better place to access the fresh, all-natural produce and spices we need to make top-quality food. My great grandfather never would have guessed it, but ironically, Chicago’s the best place to headquarter a Cuban food business.”
And Crews is drawing new inspiration, cooking delicious creations that bring people together. “Our sensational Chili-Cubano is the perfect example. We started with a ground beef Cuban classic—known as “Picadillo”—and blended in the tradition of spicy American chili. The end result, we like to say, is culinary perfection. Our customers say it’s the best black bean chili they’ve ever tasted.
OldHavanaFoods.com has more than just food. You can hear musical recordings, courtesy Crews’ late Cuban grandmother - Maria Hermenia Rivero—a wonderful old-time pianist. And there are other members of this talented family—like mother, Lourdes Garcia of Miami - a talented musician and folkloric guitarist. The Old Havana website also features original artwork from his father, Julio Crews, a Cuban-born painter based in Houston, Texas. You can read the colorful family story and pick up authentic Cuban-style recipes—exclusively at Old Havana Foods.
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