How the croqueta was born
A favorite amongst Cubans in Miami, you’d think croquetas were invented in some abuelita’s kitchen in Havana. But lore has it the croqueta originated in France, where it’s called a croquette. The croquette came onto the food scene in the 19th century as a tasty way of recycling leftover meat and scraps during lean times, though it’s unclear who should really get the credit for the recipe.
Some have suggested it was legendary French chef Antonin Carême, who served potato croquettes at an extravagant royal banquet in 1817 featuring a menu of 120 dishes. Others have credited Monsieur Escoffier, considered by some the founder of French classical cuisine, for writing down the recipe and training chefs who introduced them to different parts of the world.
What makes ‘em so good?
The ingredients are actually pretty simple: butter, flour, milk, whatever meat or vegetable you are using in the stuffing, salt, eggs, and breadcrumbs. But the secret to the gooey texture is mixing some of the ingredients into a bechamel sauce. Once the mixture has set, you make them into rolls, fry them up and pop an endless amount into your mouth.
How to make them
Wanna learn how to make traditional ham croquetas? Watch this classic how-to video from Nydia’s Miami Kitchen.
And if cooking isn’t your thing, here’s a few of our favorite places that serve croquetas in Miami: